Oyster orgy turns water white as sex-fuelled molluscs lay millions of eggs

A mass oyster "orgy" involving dozens of sexually active molluscs has turned the water in a harbour into a misty white colour.

The mesmerising yet bizarre scene was filmed off the island of Texel in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands and the footage has been widely shared on Facebook after being uploaded by local resident, Sytske Dijksen.

The clip shows little plumes of cloudy bubble floating to the water surface from time to time while the water turns to a murky white colour.

Sytske Dijksen accompanied the video with the message: “Orgy in the NIOZ harbour.”

The witness later said: "When I first saw it, I thought of pollution. But when I walked down the dike I discovered the white clouds were coming out of the oysters and I understood that it was reproduction.

"Yes, sex and oysters, it naturally appeals to the imagination, but it was really a coincidence because I wasn't looking for this.

"It was like someone had thrown bleach in the water, it shocked me."

Arthur Oosterbaan, nature guide for the island’s Ecomare centre, said it's not caused by pollution but a mass spawning of oysters.

He explained: "There are hundreds of millions of eggs and sperm cells in the sea, that mass spawning is truly spectacular."

However, despite its strange beauty, the phenomenon actually takes place every year, Arthur added, only this time a Texel resident shared the images and “suddenly it became news”.

He continued: "It’s all great fun of course, a lot of people do not know about this, but every oyster farmer is familiar with this phenomenon."

Pacific oysters reproduce every year when the sea temperature rises above 17C.

Arthur explained: “Then they open their valves and release sperm cells and eggs. It comes out in clouds."

The cells and eggs have to 'meet' somewhere in the sea and then reproduction is complete and a shell forms in two to four weeks.

The shell then sinks back to the bottom of the sea.

Sytske added that later she went back to have another look and the sea was clear again. She said: "It looked ‘virgin’ once more!”

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