<p>Swirling plankton blooms create electric-blue eddies off the coast of <a id="wcl7" title="Ireland" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/ireland-guide/">Ireland</a>, as seen in a satellite picture taken in May and released this week by the <a id="zl7c" title="European Space Agency" href="http://envisat.esa.int/earth/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=6">European Space Agency</a>.</p><p>Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants that drift on or near the ocean's surface. The annual spring plankton blooms in the North Atlantic—driven by natural conditions—can color the water enough that the hordes of tiny plants become visible from space.</p>

Bloomin' Plankton

Swirling plankton blooms create electric-blue eddies off the coast of Ireland, as seen in a satellite picture taken in May and released this week by the European Space Agency.

Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants that drift on or near the ocean's surface. The annual spring plankton blooms in the North Atlantic—driven by natural conditions—can color the water enough that the hordes of tiny plants become visible from space.

Image courtesy ESA

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