Look at This: A Valley Painted Red with Algae

By Sophie Bushwick | July 25, 2012 10:16 am

Trentepohlia bloom

Carved into the northern slopes of China’s Mount Gongga, the Yaijiageng river valley looks like the site of a massive paint spill. But the red is actually all-natural: it is a massive bloom of a newly discovered variety of algae. The alga belongs to the species Trentepohlia jolithus, which is capable of growing on rocks and tree trunks. This yajiagengensis variety, named after the river valley where it originates, only grows on local exposed rock—and with debris and human activities blocking and rerouting the flow of the Yajiageng river in recent years, a lot more stone has become exposed. The alga’s spread has turned the location into a tourist attraction with the nickname “Red-Stone-Valley.”

[via New Scientist]

Image courtesy of Guoxiang Liu

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

80beats

80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »