Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Wine Red Snow

There is a phenomenon in the snow fields of the North that turns the white expanses into a bright red.

Snow algae blooms in the snow in late winter, and marks the end of the season. The algae can be seen in high mountain country, when snow is remaining on mountain slopes even after the grounds below are dry and beginning to turn into spring. The algae are tiny, and 2.5 million thrive in each teaspoon of snow. They prefer to grow at temperatures just above freezing, which is why they appear during thaws and snow melts in late winter. Snow algae can be seen in Japan and Greenland.

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