Astronomy

Red sea, blue sea

Red sea, blue sea

Who has not read news that speaks of seas whose waters are dyed the color of blood or that in the dark have begun to shine strange lights under the water hearing buzzing or strange noises? Is it science fiction or did they go crazy because of lack of water? Well no, strange as it may seem are phenomena that could occur during a vacation. Do you want to know how?

Generally any relatively large water reservoir usually reflects the color of the sky. Therefore, it is frequent to show beautiful turquoise tones on clear days. If we add white sands and sandy bottoms to it, we will obtain the beautiful paradisiacal prints that are seen from Caribbean seas. On cloudy days, the sea usually acquires a grayish color reminiscent of silver.

Now, on certain occasions certain generally blue seas, suddenly have a reddish hue that reminds of that biblical passage in which Moses transformed the waters of the Nile River into blood. In recent decades this rare phenomenon has occurred on several occasions, attending to different causes. Thus, while sometimes the guilt fell on a type of seaweed (the Noctiluca scintillans) which had been reproduced in large numbers, on other occasions it was due to illegal dumping from different factories.

Much more spectacular was the reddish rain that fell in 2001 and for 15 minutes, over the Indian city of Kannur. The scientists concluded that the motive was a small asteroid that exploded at low ground level, and its microscopic fragments that were suspended in the atmosphere were dragged by rainwater.

Already during the first trip of Christopher Columbus to the New World, the sailors collected in the on-board newspaper how at night the waters shone in an area that was in the mysterious Bermuda Triangle.

However, the explanation of this phenomenon is in natural and terrestrial biological facts. These are small microorganisms, called phytoplankton and that they are capable of emitting a beautiful whitish blue light as marine fireflies, known as bioluminescence.

These are not the only ones, because in Japan there are certain squids that are also capable of emitting light naturally and some abyssal fish that create their own bioluminescence are also known. When an accumulation of these organisms occurs, generally the brightness of the waters is usually accompanied by some type of noise created by these animals.

But marine waters are not the only ones to present strange colors other than the traditional blue waters that are expected to have. Salinas, for example, or any closed sea that has little exchange of its waters usually have a greater concentration of salts over time. These tend to change the color of the waters being generally reddish or brown, as occurs in Lake Natron (Tanzania, Africa). As can be seen in the image, deposits of white, reddish and dark brown salts are formed.

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