Fun in the sun (and slime)
July 25th, 2011
10:44 AM ET

Thick, green algae covers 200 square miles of Yellow Sea

Almost 200 square miles (500 square kilometers) of the Yellow Sea off China are covered by a massive bloom of green algae, according to a report from China's Xinhua news service.

The bloom has spread to almost 7,400 square miles (19,050 square kilometers) in total and is expected to grow, Xinhua reported, citing the North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center of State Oceanic Administration.

The algae bloom threatens marine life as it sucks oxygen from the water although the algae itself is not poisonous, according to the Xinhua report.

Researchers don't know what causes the massive algae blooms, first seen in the Yellow Sea in 2007.

Tons of the green algae had to be removed in 2008 to make way for sailing events at the Summer Olympics.

"We don't know where it originated and why it's suddenly growing so rapidly," Bao Xianwen from the Qingdao-based Ocean University of China, told the China Daily earlier this month. "It must have something to do with the change in the environment, but we are not scientifically sure of the reasons."

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Filed under: China
soundoff (427 Responses)
  1. Aubrie

    I thought green algae was a good source of certain nutients. I'm surpised the Chinese are not harvesting it for commercial processing or even eating it...

    July 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Breakfast Buffet

      Who said they weren't?

      July 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kdlmdc

    Can't biodiesel be produced from algae? If not biodiesel, then can cellulosic ethanol be produced from this? This would be a fantastic harvest of energy! At the very least, harvest the stuff and use it to fertilize next year's agricultural fields. If it's killing fish, then this stuff must be removed, but something good should come of it.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. G.W. Bush

    I just wish stupid middle class voters would spread as fast as green algae. Bachman-Palin 2012!

    July 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • peakarach

      Bachman and Palin would be a total disaster for the whole world.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. answerman

    If they have any brains they can turn it into BIO Diesel, that should run things for a while.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • peakarach

      If you think Chinese don't have any brains then why the u.s owe them over $1 trillion dollars?

      July 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      If they're so smart, why would they give one-quarter of their entire economy to a nation that is so obviously heading towards bankruptcy?

      July 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Julie

    I know it's just a lot of a little plant trying to make a living...
    But... GLAAHHH!
    It has to be an indicator of some major difference in cultural thinking that would drive people to get out in amongst that stuff and PLAY in it.
    The most I could bring myself to do would be to scoop some out and see if some bunny or chicken would like it as a salad...

    July 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Urs

    Cant they turn this into biofuel?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ramsglen

    I can't believe they are not selling this to Obama for Gas. Must be a misprint. We pay millions in the US to have companies raise this and try to make gas out of it. IT IS AFTER ALL "GREEN".

    July 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MalakaShakalaka

    Why cant algae be pink color? Then it would be so pretty and more welcome. Just sayin

    July 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ThereIsaidIt

    It's Plankton and they're after the Krabby Patty formula! "Yea, you and what army?" "What army?, Look around you Krabs!" "You planted grass?"

    July 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Just Thinking

    The Chinese are using huge amounts of ferilizer that is washed down into the sea. No mystery why there is such a bloom. Google 'exploding watermelons' to see what kind of weird substances they are using to grow their food as fast as possible.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Yup. Same reason the Gulf is dying. We send huge amount of chemical fertilzers into the Gulf via the Mississippi.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. hippypoet

    talk about your sea of green huh... makes my mouth water, i need a blunt!

    July 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Burbank

    Uh, err, duh.... I guess it couldn't just possibly be from the inevitable pollution that comes from overpopulation? Naw! Can't be from that! Not in a million years! Exucse me for thinking such logical thoughts! Let's let it remain a mystery...

    July 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sumyungman

    Algae bloom in the Yellow Sea? The name and the algae have the same origin.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SS

    Chinese laundry. Lots of phosphates, promotes algae growth.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. samot

    I thought I heard once that algae could be made into a very nutricious food and used to feed the hungry. Is it protein ?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • cris

      leave to the Chinese to make noodles out of it and export that to the U.S. besides the probable reason for algae boom is the available nutrients or waste product from surrounding industries besides they know nothing of health nor they are concerned of their environment, only time will tell when that entire region will loose more than 200 sq miles of Yellow Sea.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • hippypoet

      not sure about the protein but i know you can survive off it! the astro-nuts lol use it or a protein from a type of algea to feed the space-cadets... pretty cool stuff

      July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jiang Zemin-Xiang

      This is USA propaganda. In China algae is good luck sign and natrl afrodesic. The USA is jealous of our good luck and good times in natures candy (algae).

      July 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suzuki Nakamura

      @Jiang Zemin-x,

      Dude, that is outright disgusting..

      July 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jiang Zemin-Xiang

      Unless you have the s3x in the green slime, you will never understand. It is amazing experience.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suzuki Nakamura

      Oh my, I think I just threw up in my mouth..

      July 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
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