A mysteriously blooming freshwater alga has left environmental scientists perplexed since late 1980s, when it started invading the rivers of Vancouver, British Columbia, covering these once-pristine riverbeds with a thick, woolly mat.
Max Bothwell, a research scientist with Environment Canada who studied the Vancouver blooms said,
This is the mystery. How could an endemic species invade?
Scientists fear that the “rock snot” blooms or ‘Didymo‘ – dubbed for its yellowish color and globular form – could even spread throughout cold rivers in both hemispheres if can’t be brought under control.
Thought to be native to the area, as well to many rivers and streams throughout the northern hemisphere, the stuff snarl waterways’ ruglike blooms is leading scientists to the thought that Vancouver is experiencing as the “epicenter” of an ongoing global epidemic, though they are still not quite sure of the both the reasons and the consequences.
Photo Courtesy: MAF BIOSECURITY NEW ZEALAND