Tagged With algae

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As the women's synchronised diving teams took to the pool in Rio de Janeiro today, they were greeted by a strange sight. The diving pool had turned green overnight, while the neighbouring water polo pool remained a crystal clear blue. This confused the Olympic organisers, media, and the internet profusely. Long story short: It's most likely an algae bloom.

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The image above, "Eye of an Algal Storm" was captured by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2A satellite over the middle of the Baltic Sea on 7 August. With a spatial resolution of just 10 metres, ripples and waves are captured in stunning detail. In the top centre of the image, you can even make out the wake of a ship as it slices through cyanobacteria-laden waters.

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It's the last thing you want to find floating on your backyard pool, but a Mississippi-based company called Bloom has developed a way to turn algae, that green slimy goo that makes it unpleasant to swim in a lake, into eco-friendly foam for use in yoga mats, sandals or luggage.

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Image Cache: The algal bloom in Lake Erie is particularly bad this year, thanks to a combination of agricultural runoff, sunlight, and warm water. The result, as seen by NASA's Landsat 8, is the Great Lakes turning slowly green.

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In the 20th century, oil was black gold. But as we march deeper into the twenty-first century, we could have a lucrative new fuel on our hands. One that's blue-green and sometimes a little smelly. It's found in wastewater, but it's capable of powering jets. It's algae.

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Bioluminescence is awesome. Essentially the production of light by a living organism, e.g. fireflies, certain types of jellyfish, etc — but it doesn't just occur in animals. There's even some plant life that has the potential to give off that lovely, ethereal glow. And as Mark Rober shows us in the video above, you can even harness that power to become your very own natural, eerie, and totally beautiful light source.