The Suomi NPP satellite captured this massive phytoplankton bloom just east of the Falkland Islands off the coast of southern Argentina on Dec. 28, 2017. Also known as microalgae, phytoplankton are microscopic, plant-like organisms that thrive in cold, nutrient-rich ocean waters and are an important food source for marine ecosystems. Like terrestrial plants, phytoplankton contain chlorophyll and require sunlight to live and grow.
During a significant bloom, the microorganisms can color the ocean surface in swirling patterns of green and turquoise blue. Satellite images like this one not only reveal the location of plankton, but also show how currents can move these tiny creatures around within a body of water.