Strange Red Appearance Of Azov Sea - Locals Panic

29 July, 2012 - You might remember the article about the red rocks that puzzled scientists for a long time.

This week, scientists and citizens were stunned to see how the Azov Sea suddenly turned red.

"It might be a sign of the coming events, or even end of the world" say the locals.

The officials have been trying to calm down people, explaining that although this does not happen often it is a natural phenomenon that does sometimes occur.

Azov Sea, or Sea of Azov as it is often called is situated off the southern shores of Ukraine and Russia.

It forms a northern extension of the Black Sea, to which it is linked on the south by the Kerch Strait. The Sea of Azov is about 210 miles (340 km) long and 85 miles (135 km) wide and has an area of about 14,500 square miles (37,600 square km).

A map of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov area.

The sea is characterised by high concentrations of organic matter and long blooming periods.

Scientists have discovered about 600 species of planktonic algae in the Sea of Azov.

The number of species is dominated by diatoms and green algae; blue-green algae and pyrophites are significant, and euglena and yellow-green algae form only 5% of the species.

Green algae are mostly responsible for the greenish colour of the sea in the satellite images.

This picture of the Azov Sea was taken by one of the locals. Image credit: English Russia

So, what exactly did happen with the Azov Sea?

It is still unclear what happened. The change of color could be due toxic pollution, but most likely the reason for bloody red color of the sea is algal blooms that are not dangerous to humans.

To many locals seeing such red waters a was sign of end times. Image credit: English Russia

The south-west wind "drove" algal blooms closer to shore. Further flowering could lead to fish deaths of mass proportions.

Government officials assure the red colosr has natural causes. Image credit: English Russia

"If the Sea of Azov continues with algal bloom, it will be a disaster with unpredictable consequences. If this heat is about to repeat several more years, the sea has the potential to be renamed from Azov in the Dead," said George Ryazantsev from the Research Institute of the Azov sea.

The director of the Institute Leonid Izergin assures that the sea is safe for swimming, but the villagers of Berdyansk do not believe him. They claim that the sea has a special metallic smell that worries them.


See also:
Sudden Red Rain Shower Causes Panic In Kannur

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