Green Algae China: Heaps Of Slime Blanket Beaches In Qingdao City; Is The Invasive Algal Bloom Toxic? [VIDEO]
Green algae in China is taking over beaches in eastern Shandong province. Heaps of algal bloom blanket the beaches of the city of Qingdao, popular with tourists for its seaside setting and temperate climate. MSN reports that officials in the city - whose name ironically means "green" or "lush island" -- have already removed more than 8,000 tons of the slimy green algae from the city's beaches so far.
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Is the invasive green algae toxic to humans?
For six years now every summer, green algae has carpeted China's Yellow Sea, a 150,000-square-mile body of water located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. And this year's is the biggest green algae invasion yet. The Guardian reports that the green algae in China covers an area of 11,158-square-miles, which is twice as much as the sea's previous largest bloom in 2008.
According to researchers, the green algae in China is caused by local industry and agricultural pollution. "The explosion of algae points to a change in the ecosystem as a result of human activity," EuroNews notes.
International Business Times reports that the bright-green slime, known scientifically as Enteromorpha prolifera, not only has a noxious odor, it also kills marine life by sucking up all the oxygen in the water and blocking the sun from penetrating the water's surface.
But the green algae in China hasn't stopped tourists from hitting the beaches. And luckily for them, the green algae is not toxic to humans. But if left to rot and decompose, it can release hydrogen sulphide, a poisonous gas. Crews are shoveling away the green algae before it can start to putrefy.
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