Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Microscopic organisms turn Istanbul shores turquoise

Microscopic organisms turn Istanbul shores turquoise

Phytoplankton are floating, microscopic organisms that make their own food from sunlight and dissolved nutrients.

The Black Sea water has had turquoise blue colour in some places for the past few days and attracts the attention of residents and tourists.

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"Across the Black Sea there is an explosion of Emiliania huxleyi", he said.

The Bosphorus Strait, which slices through Istanbul, dividing the continents of Europe and Asia, has always been one of the main attractions of Turkey's largest city.

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"This has nothing to do with pollution", he said, adding it was particularly good for the numbers of anchovies, a popular supper in Istanbul. They generally support fish, shellfish, along with other marine creatures. But large, frequent blooms can lead to eutrophication-the loss of oxygen from the water-and end up suffocating marine life.

Turquoise swirls in the Black Sea - caused by phytoplankton carried on local water currents - shine brightly in a new image from NASA's Aqua satellite. Emiliania huxleyi, a coccolithophore species, is a mono-celled organism that can adapt and thrive in waters spanning from the equator to the sub-Arctic region.

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The type of phytoplankton captured in the image are called coccolithophores, which are plated with white calcium carbonate. The ocean around South Jersey was shown by NASA satellite photos to take on a greenish shade due to phytoplankton bloom, with the microorganisms visible along the Long Beach Island coast to Cape May. On its website, it describes the phytoplankton "bloom" as an annual occurrence. "Diatoms, which also bloom in the Black Sea, tend to darken water more than they brighten it".

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