Photos: Chinese beachgoers dive into waves of mysterious algae

[China] Every summer since 2007, residents of coastal Chinese city Qingdao have been greeted by a mysterious “algae bloom.” No one can fully explain where it comes from. But in 2013, the New York Times reported a theory that nearby farms of Porphyra (the nori in our sushi), were attracting the algae, which was then swept out to sea to blossom into a mushy green carpet.

Though it’s a delightful bright green, the annual algae inundation poses some threats. It’s harmful not only to marine life but also to humans, yielding toxic hydrogen sulfide gas once it begins to decompose. And cleaning it up before it rots isn’t cheap; in 2008, Qingdao spent more than $30 million removing it. So far, that hasn’t kept local beachgoers from diving in.

A man covers himself with algae. (Reuters/China Daily)
A resident tastes algae as he stands on an algae-filled coastline in Qingdao, Shandong province July 12, 2012. REUTERS/China Daily

A fisherman rides past an algae-covered beachside in Rizhao, Shandong province, China, July 6, 2015. Picture taken July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
People play volleyball on a beach, which is partly covered with algae, at the coastline of Qingdao in Shandong province July 4, 2008. China has thrown 10,000 people and 1,200 vessels into the fight to clean up a huge algae bloom that has turned large swathes of Qingdao’s offshore waters green and encroached on a third of Olympic sailing waters. REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA) (BEIJING OLYMPICS 2008 PREVIEW)
A local boy sits in a pile of algae as his friend runs on top of it at a beach. (Reuters/China Daily)
A pair of slippers is seen at an algae-filled coastline. (Reuters/China Daily)
A man covers himself in algae as he plays with his friends. (Reuters/China Daily)
A boy plays on an algae-covered seaside. (Reuters/China Daily)
A boy plays on an algae-covered seaside. (Reuters/China Daily)

 

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