Saw pink snow somewhere and don’t know what that means? Well, we don’t really have some good news to give you. Whenever you encounter pinkish snow, it is due to a green algae called Chlamydomonas Nivalis.
Winters bring with them a bright, white colored snow every year. However, some unusual phenomena have occurred recently. This pink snow, or watermelon snow or glacier blood, as some may call it, was witnessed in some places. While many people thought of it as something cool or exciting, experts are concerned regarding the matter.
What actually is pink snow?
Watermelon snow gets its unique pink color through a phenomenon involving algae. The algae, Chlamydomonas Nivalis, is although green in color but it has a secondary pigment which is of reddish tone. This carotenoid isn’t visible during the winter months as it is during the summer and spring seasons. This is particularly because the algae uses its carotenoid as a protective barrier against the UV radiation, causing it to turn red. The snow gets its name not only from its pink color, but also from its watermelon-like odor.
Why is watermelon snow a bad sign?
Unfortunately, yes. This pinkish snow is a bad sign for Earth’s climate. Although the snow isn’t that harmful to ingest, it may not be a good sign for the Earth’s already deteriorating climate. Experts have warned that although you can eat it, it isn’t really nice to do so. Also, there are possibilities that the snow may contain bacteria or some other toxic algae that may harm your health.
What does watermelon snow taste like?
Some people say that watermelon snow tastes like chewy water. We haven’t experimented with this before and we advise you too to avoid it as much as possible. Even if you want to, make sure to avoid the yellow parts. Some people also stated that it tastes a bit like watermelon or has a fruity aroma. As appetizing as it may sound, it isn’t in real life. So try controlling yourself when you see some!
Is watermelon snow dangerous?
Watermelon snow may not be as dangerous for human beings as it is for the environment. While you can eat it, many experts warn that you don’t try doing so. As far as the climatic conditions are concerned, watermelon snow causes the glaciers to melt rapidly. This is because the algae absorbs more heat and accelerates the melting process. There isn’t any research which suggests that watermelon snow is dangerous for pets including dogs. However, we still won’t recommend taking your pets to such regions.
What is snow algae?
Snow algae are micro-algae which live in ice and snow. They are normally found in the Alpine and Polar regions of the world. Most of these algae normally belong to Chlamydomonadales (Chlorophyta) and Zygnematales (Streptophyta). While this algae remains dormant during the winter season, spring sees a greater production due to the increased levels of light and nutrients. It is for this reason that snow turns pinkish during this season.
Watermelon snow Utah
Recently, some parts of Utah have reported watermelon snow which was a cause of concern for many locals. People were quite excited to see this rare phenomenon, but it isn’t as infrequent as many expected. Many experts termed such an event quite normal in many mountainous locations around the world. This snow is the most common in New Zealand, Australia, and some glaciers of New Guinea.