Field of Science

Crimson Tide causes trouble in Australia

You see the headline, Crimson Tide closes beaches in Australia, and you wonder how can Alabama's football team be causing trouble way 'down under'?  But clearly this is what that 'Bama team is named after, a toxic dinoflagellate, a unicellular organism, and when they have a population explosion these tiny, microscopic, organisms can tint the water red in their uncountable numbers.  Their toxins can produce problems up the food chain because when consumed by slightly larger zooplankton and then eventually fish, or when consumed by filter feeding shell fish, they become toxic.  So such blooms as they are called are usually refered to as red tides, and one wonders how Moses got such a population explosion in the Nile just when he needed one.  But calling the red tide, crimson, certainly fooled me for a moment.  This news is from Sydney Australia whose huge harbor has dozens of little beaches and inlets that are usually not so red.  The normal colored, darker water has pushed the dinoflagellates close to shore, concentrated them, to produce the eerie red color.   

1 comment:

Bend said...

Have you seen the epilogue of this incidence?