Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Watermelon snow

Watermelon snow in Sierra Nevada, central California
Photographer: W.P.Armstrong

Today, when we were reviewing cold climates, Dani Pintado has reminded watermelon snow. This is a curious natural phenomenon that happens in alpine zones: the snow is dyed in pink or reddish colour, it smells to fresh watermelon and it has a sweet taste. This pink snow is caused by a green algae called Chlamidomonas nivalis. This green algae loves cold and it grows in freezing water. During the winter it lives under the snow and remains dormant. With the spring heat and the thawing of the snow, this algae releases lots of red spores, dying the snow in pink. This phenomenon is common during the summer in coastal and alpine regions all over the world. It is commonly observed in Sierra Nevada, California. Watermelon snow has a sweet taste, but if you eat too much, you may have diarrhea.

You can find more information and pictures in the following links:

Watermelon snow at Yosemite National Park,
Photographer: Chris Lombardi


Enrique Vázquez said...

good pictures paqui, this is a curious phenom

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Enrique, pay attention to what you write. You eat a lot of letters! Review what you have written before publishing.

Silvia said...

these are very interesting pictures about watermelon snow

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

The second picture is so similar to an icecream... I wish I had a spoon to taste it!

Laura Meco said...

Paqui! I've just seen the photos and, I REALLY LIKE IT! The first one is very very beautiful!
See you tomorrow!

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Nstural world is astonishing. Look what these small algae can do with the snow. It´s impressing.