February 27, 2020 | 10:42am | Updated February 27, 2020 | 11:09am
Red snow in Antarctica.
Red snow in Antarctica
Chlamydomonas under a microscope.
Snow that looks like it was mixed with food coloring is not what you’d expect to see in Antarctica — or anywhere else, for that matter.
But that’s the bizarre phenomenon scientists recently photographed on an Argentine island in Antarctica.
The images, depicting watermelon-colored snow, were revealed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Science and Education. Warmer weather during the Antarctic summer prompts spores to germinate, triggering an algae bloom that creates these weird pockets of pink “watermelon snow,” the Daily Mail reported.
The bright red photosynthetic algae — which can thrive in very low temperatures — are located in snowfields around the world.
The Ukrainian scientists told the Mail: “Such snow contributes to climate change, because the red-raspberry color snow reflects less sunlight and melts faster.”
“As a result, more and more bright algae are formed in the snow,” they said.