Beachgoers in Australia's eastern suburbs were in for a shock on Tuesday as both Bondi Beach and Clovelly Beach were closed due to a rare red algae bloom, causing the water to resemble a scene out of Jaws.
While swimming in the red stuff, known as Noctiluca scintillans or sea sparkle, isn't lethal, it will irritate human skin and eyes — hence, the beach closures.
Patricia Estebe from Camargue's tourist office explained to the Huffington Post, "This phenomenon is a result of the salt content in brine shrimp Artemia salina and algae Dunaliella salina. When the salt concentration is very high — which is the case before harvest — the brine shrimp die and saline algae proliferates giving this unusual color."
Waverley head lifeguard Bruce Hopkins told Australia's Herald Sun that he first spotted the algae bloom drifting off the north side of Bondi Beach at around 6:30 a.m. He added, "It has got quite a fishy smell to it."
A few local Instagram users shared their snaps of the red algae under the hashtag #redtide.