ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Phytoplankton blooms are putting on a unique and colourful show in the waters along Newfoundland's eastern coast.

The patches of stunning turquoise water are so large they can be seen from space, according to satellite imagery from NASA.

Federal fisheries and oceans scientist Cynthia McKenzie says the vibrant colour is reflected by chalky calcium carbonate scales on the tiny phytoplankton cells.

McKenzie says wind has pushed the large number of blooms of the species known as coccolithophorids close to shore, where the cells thrive in warmer temperatures and calm waters.

The phenomenon is not unheard of in the province's waters, but McKenzie says this is the first time she's heard of blooms as far north as Conception Bay and Trinity Bay.

McKenzie says the microscopic plants are safe to touch and thrive in warm temperatures, light and minimal wind.