An annual phenomenon taking over beaches in China has its residents seeing green this summer.
Caused by what researchers say is local industry and agriculture pollution, the green algae (scientific name Enteromorpha prolifera), has resulted in the foul-smelling mass taking over parts of China's Yellow Sea.
According to a report from the Guardian, officials have removed 7,335 tons of the algae recently in an attempt to control the growth after beach-goers in the nearby city of Qingdao have remain unaffected by the disturbance. See photos of locals swimming in the green algae here.
The event, which has occurred in the same region over the past six years, always during the summer, has grown exponentially since its last noteable interference in 2008. This year's growth is reportedly double in size, measuring in at more than 11,158 square miles.
While strange in appearance, the algae is reportedly nontoxic to humans but can, however, leave behind the toxic gas hydrogen sulphide. According to a report from the Daily Mail, crews are working to remove the algae as the toxicity is caused if it is left to decompose. NTD-TV reports the algae can be harmful to the ocean's creatures as large amounts can consume oxygen, therefore threatening marine life.
Researcher with the Univeristy of Cambridge's EnAlgae project Dr. Brenda Parker said it is believed that the algae-growth is linked to pollution. "That would probaly be an indactor that something is a little bit unbalanced," Parker told the Guardian, regarding the recent increase in space the algae has covered.