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China's Yangtze River Turns Red

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-on-again dept.

China 272

redletterdave writes "The Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world traditionally known as the 'golden watercourse,' mysteriously blushed for the first time on Sept. 6. Residents in the surrounding area near the city of Chongqing, where the Yangtze connects to the Jialin River, literally stopped in their tracks when they noticed their once golden river had turned a shocking shade of red. Residents have carefully crept down to the riverbanks for the past few days to save some of the red, tomato juice-like river water in bottles. Early predictions from scientists say the red water was likely a result of pollution, but investigators are still investigating the unknown cause."

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272 comments

sounds familiar (5, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275759)

Soon Moh She will lead the workers out of their factories and part the Yellow Sea.

Obvious propaganda is obvious. (4, Funny)

fragfoo (2018548) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275771)

Obvious propaganda from the chinese communist party.

Re:Obvious propaganda is obvious. (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275927)

Oh right, commemorating the great events of September ???, lessee, when was that?

Huge earthquakes [huffingtonpost.com] , near Yiliang County.
Followed by heavy rains.
Large landslides.
117 miles south of a major Yangtze tributary into which local rivers drain.

Far more likely an industrial spill or iron ore laden mudslide.

Re:Obvious propaganda is obvious. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275967)

Worse.
Finally china's population density has brought about a horrific consequence, the land itself is synchronizing periods with the local population.
Those poor bastards, may god have mercy on their souls...

Re:Obvious propaganda is obvious. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276303)

synchronizing periods

Story said this was the "First Time". Had it been a monthly occurrence it wouldn't be news.

Re:Obvious propaganda is obvious. (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276539)

Worse.
Finally china's population density has brought about a horrific consequence, the land itself is synchronizing periods with the local population.
Those poor bastards, may god have mercy on their souls...

China's population density is about 1/3 that of Japan, Korea, and India, and about half the density of the UK. Does god have enough mercy for all of those souls as well?

Uh-huh.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275779)

News for nerds, stuff that matters...

Remember when slashdot used to be about technology?

Re:Uh-huh.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275809)

Trying to figure out the scientific explanation behind this isn't nerdy enough?

Re:Uh-huh.. (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276319)

KIRK "Spock... what is happening."
SPOCK "I don't know, Captain... let me put in my little ear thing and peer into my thingy."
BONES "It's obvious, Jim. It's dead."

I agree: How could you not go all geeky over this? I wish i had a tricorder and could beam over to China right now!

Apple has finally done it !!!! (4, Funny)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275781)

They've unleashed gods wrath on us with their patent wars....

And now for a musical interlude (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275909)

When Android was in China's land ... let my cell phones go!
Just trolled so hard they could not stand .. let my cell phones go!
Go down, Samsung, way down in China's land,
tell ol' Jintao to let my cell phones go!

(Nah, it just doesn't quite have the same ring to it)

Wrist slap or a bullet? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275799)

When the polluter is caught, will he get a wrist slap or a bullet in the back of the head? Stay tuned!

Red? (3, Interesting)

WD (96061) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275807)

Maybe my eyes need to be checked, but it looks brown to me.

Re:Red? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275859)

I was thinking the same thing then clicked the link in the article and that was where the red pictures were, the page we are linked to has the before pictures.

It's pretty unmistakeably red if you can see red.

Re:Red? (4, Informative)

SuurMyy (1003853) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275881)

Here are the red pictures [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:Red? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276025)

Quite obviously photoshopped. Look at the photo with the two men, one holding a bottle. Now look along the left side of the bottle. Look at the men's left arms. Screaming fake. If you inspect some of the other pictures closely, you will also find other areas where color manipulation is evident.

Re:Red? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276197)

AC Parent is a liar

Re:Red? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276333)

AC Parent is a liar

No, he's not.

Take a good look at the area under the bottle in this image [dailymail.co.uk] . Some of the water remains brown, yet parts of the two men's arms are the exact same color as the water.

Re:Red? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276411)

Yeah even I have to agree to that. I sent a message to my friend who lives in Chongqing, after a long night of partying I got a reply of "what happened?" I guess he didn't even know about it.

Re:Red? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275949)

Re:Red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276055)

No idea why the story insisted on linking to a secondary source.

Because these pictures have been manipulated. Look closely. Whomever did these was obviously an amateur and did a terrible job of masking in a couple of the pictures before applying color adjustment.

Re:Red? (0)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276279)

Differing water temperatures, idiot.

Or would you try to tell me a cloud front was "photoshopped in?" It's the same phenomena.

Re:Red? (0)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276299)

Nevermind. You weren't talking about the current gradients, I guess? Perhaps this? [dailymail.co.uk]

If you are going to say shit like that, do you mind actually pointing out what you are saying it about?

Re:Red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276519)

The water between body and arm of the guy in the back... and several other places... too apparent.

Re:Red? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276317)

Red and brown are pretty much the same color at different brightness. Weird, but true.

Ocean dye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275811)

Did some dye from the company that makes it get spilled? The company I worked for had an accident and the water company went back along the pipe until it stopped, and it turned out that some printer ink tank had sprung a leak and it was coloring the water red.

Is this different than the red tide?

Anyways, once the river caught on fire in Cleveland, our EPA was created. Hopefully this will cause the Chinese to create an EPA that has some real power.

Re:Ocean dye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276193)

You mean that "useless" organization that the Tea Partiers want to stop "wasting" money on and get rid of? Why would the Chinese want to "waste" their money on that too?!

Call me when it burns (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275815)

Red river? BFD.

Cleveland's rivers fucking BURN.

Some photos obviously enhanced (5, Informative)

DaTrueDave (992134) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275817)

I was looking at some of the photos linked in that article, and I noticed that some of them [dailymail.co.uk] are pretty obviously photoshopped. I'm sure the river was red, but I'm not so sure it was such a dramatic shade of red. You can see where the editing was sloppy and bled over into the arm and thumb of the person holding the bottle, and the arm of the guy behind, as well as some sections that are probably the actual shade of red that the river turned.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275863)

>>>bled over into the arm and thumb of the person holding the bottle

Wow. Okay so what motive would the Daily Mail of the fine and prestigious UK have to colorize these photos? Hmmm.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (4, Insightful)

Clsid (564627) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275913)

We don't know but the guy does have a point, that picture was photoshopped.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275995)

It is probably the camera person because they probably get money based on viewership. Therefore, the more sensational the picture the more money they make.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276331)

I'm pretty sure that was intended to be read with a sarcastic tone. Though I'm from the States, from what I've gathered the Daily Mail is like the UK's version of the National Enquirer--correspondence of their articles to actual reality is purely coincidental.

And, like the Enquirer, the more fantastic (in the literal sense) the story, the better.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276247)

Though the one doesn't directly refer to the other, but putting "fine and prestigious" in the same sentence as "daily mail" is not something one sees very often. I haven't read the daily fail article, but "lol, typical stupid chinks" is likely to be the gist of it. As for motive, selling papers hadn't occurred to you?

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276305)

invisible sarcasm tag is invisible. You need to recalibrate your sarcasm detector for british ;)

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276277)

It's called "sensationalism" and it sells newspapers.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276373)

It's called "sensationalism" and it sells newspapers.

It's called "sarcasm", and it sounds like "whooosh!"

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275867)

That's the reflection from the river and water from when he stuck his hand in to get the bottle of water, you moron

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275969)

No. It's a lousy Photoshop job. Zoom in on the lower part of the picture. You can clearly see the bad strokes made by the person who did the "enhancement".

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276051)

"That's the reflection from the river and water from when he stuck his hand in to get the bottle of water, you moron"

Speaking of morons, why don't you take another look at that photo? If you look closely (and not THAT closely), you can see where they painted his friend's arm as well, and right by that area, there is a part of the river that did NOT get colored red, so yes, it's been photoshopped. NOW who's the moron?

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (5, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275935)

I'm so upset that I didn't even bother to read more than a few sentences of the article given the topic we're having.
"Nobody is quite sure what caused the color change."

So in the rush to get there first with the reporting race, someone couldn't be bothered to give a college chem lab student lunch and an hour to get a chemical composition of the water? Oh, right, that would actually take journalism work.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275941)

The same already photoshopped picture is available from both China Foto Press and Barcroft Media, which are credited in the Daily Mail picture. Sloppy screening on the Daily Mail's behalf, but the image manipulation appears to originate closer to the source.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275973)

>> bled over into the arm and thumb of the person holding the bottle

Tomorrow in the Daily Fail: Massacre in China; Rivers Run With Blood

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276085)

It isn't 'obvious' to me that that image has been manipulated. It just looks like the man's left arm has been submerged in the red river and some of the colourant is still adhering to his arm and fingers. Same with the second man in the rear of the image.

Surely there are enough residents in this large Chinese city for this report to be independently verified.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276137)

It's probably a real event, but that picture is photoshopped, without a doubt. At least some of the other pictures have also been "enhanced". The Barcroft Media pictures look more suspicious than the ones that are credited to Getty Images. Someone was obviously generous with the saturation slider.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276535)

> It isn't 'obvious' to me that that image has been manipulated.

No offense, but are you blind? Here are the areas highlighted in red that show obvious signs of being manipulated.

http://imgur.com/d5vKF [imgur.com]

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276165)

[dailymail.co.uk] are pretty obviously photoshopped.

I wouldn't expect much else from the Daily Mail (and I don't even live in the UK, their craptasticness is world famous).

And TFA from the International Business Times? Half of it is cut and pasted from Wikipedia.

Lazy reporting and lazy photoshopping. Do we blame the internet or Murdoch for this sad state of affairs?

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276173)

It seems that way at first, but look at the arm of the guy behind him. There is red on him as well. I'm willing to bet that anything that could change the river to a color like this would probably stain the skin a bit. So I don't think it's a shoddy photoshop, just the guy with the bottle got red on his arm.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276237)

You missed where the color that was applied to the arm wasn't applied to the brown river below it? And to his thumb? And some of the brown water in the bottle where the color wasn't applied?

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276315)

I'm willing to bet that anything that could change the river to a color like this would probably stain the skin a bit.

That doesn't explain why there is a patch of un-brightened water under the guy's forearm, the line of which exactly matches up with the patch of orange on his arm itself.

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276327)

I don't know about you, but the last time I stuck my arm in dye filled water, I ended up with some on my arm and hand. If it is truely photoshopped, can somebody point out a specific reference (i.e. lower right hand corner of picture 3 shows clearly delineated lines of an applied tool)?

Re:Some photos obviously enhanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276389)

The linked picture shows very obvious sloppy masking. The manipulation can be reversed by desaturating with a mask following the obvious lines. That turns the river the same color as the unmanipulated patch of river below the guy's arm and the bottle the same color as the patch of unmanipulated bottle.

That's nothing serious (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275875)

I'm from Cleveland. Call me when the Yangste is on fire [ohiohistorycentral.org] .

Re:That's nothing serious (1)

DesertJazz (656328) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275907)

So true. When I went to Cleveland to go to school I couldn't believe the story at first. Moral of that story is never eat anything from Lake Erie or the river!

Re:That's nothing serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275985)

Hey look! All the manufacturers in Cleveland moved to China!

Re:That's nothing serious (1, Interesting)

desertfool (21262) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275959)

Came here to say this. The Cuyahoga caught fire in 1969. How long will it take China to start taking their environment seriously? I can't believe that they would let this go on forever, but it isn't a democracy and money makes people blind to the effects of their actions.

Re:That's nothing serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276245)

How long will it take China to start taking their environment seriously? I can't believe that they would let this go on forever, but it isn't a democracy and money makes people blind to the effects of their actions.

Your username fits.

Iron oxide, maybe a spill from an aluminium plant (5, Informative)

jopet (538074) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275879)

Aluminium plants produce a huge quantity of "red mud" which is red from iron oxide. A spill could well color the whole river red.
See e.g. here where the mud spilled through a broken dam in Hungary: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/10/05/GA2010100502818.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Iron oxide, maybe a spill from an aluminium pla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275923)

I'd go with blood from dead peasants that were protesting the 3 gorges dam. They were put through the turbines to quiet them after they didn't accept the 100 bowls of rice for payment for their land.

Re:Iron oxide, maybe a spill from an aluminium pla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275993)

Whatever it is in the river, pollution or not, I suspect will be hawked by the superstitious and the snake oil salesmen as the cure for everything from baldness and weight-loss to impotence and old age.

Outside of the placebo effect, sleeping with a vial of the Mysterious Red Waters of the Golden River may be harmless. But I can only wonder at how many people are mixing that stuff in with their morning rice...for their kids.

This isn't not a dig at Eastern Mystical Healing or homeopathy. The Western World has plenty of 'cured by the sight (or site) of the holy relic' cases, too. People are just wired funny that way.

Re:Iron oxide, maybe a spill from an aluminium pla (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276057)

Had the same issue in Norway a while ago: http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/Utslipp-fra-politiker-farget-sjoen-rod-6953762.html

It was an iron oxide spill, as OP mentioned.

Re:Iron oxide, maybe a spill from an aluminium pla (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276457)

And those photos are a lot closer in color to the un-enhanced spots on the Daily Mail shots. No doubt it was orange, but not the bright pumpkin orange from the daily mail shots (not that the DM necessarily touched them up, they obviously belong to a Chinese outfit).

Sounds like a red tide (5, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275891)

There are chemicals that can cause it but the other option is all the fertilizer resulted in a red tide, a type of algae. For wildlife it's as bad or worse than a chemical spill. The blooms can come on suddenly and should fade once the food source gets used up.

Re:Sounds like a red tide (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276351)

Red tides have a number of causes, some of which are quite natural. The algal bloom is often toxic, which makes me worry for the fisherman in TFA.

People's Republic Rejoice! (4, Funny)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275915)

Only Glorious Red Rivers for Glorious Red Chinese Communist Republic! Soon all waters and newborn babies everywhere will shine triumphantly with Glorious Red Hue!

Re:People's Republic Rejoice! (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276361)

No longer appropriate for a country that is only nominally Communist, and happens to be the biggest Capitalistic entity on the planet.

Perfectly reasonable (4, Funny)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275917)

I blame Obama. Who's with me?

Re:Perfectly reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276099)

I thought we were still blaming Bush.

Or have we switched to Romney already?

Listen (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275925)

Just let the Jews go. It only gets worse from here.

- Pharaoh

hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41275937)

clearly photoshopped, and poorly at that.

Re:hoax (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276371)

The 'shop certainly makes it look more insane, but in the spots where you can see the original colors it's still discolored. It's more of a ruddy brown, but it's still reddish.

Dumping (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#41275957)

Some of the religious nuts will probably claim this is bibilical, but more likely, somebody dumped some industrial waste.

Something like that happened in San Jose, CA about twenty years ago. Someone dumped several big industrial plating baths into the sewers all at once. This killed most of the bacteria that digest waste in the sewerage treatment plant. So for about three days, raw sewerage was dumped into the San Francisco Bay. Big mess, especially since there isn't much water flow in the south end of San Francisco Bay to dilute that stuff. It could be both seen and smelled. EPA fined San Jose millions for that. San Jose found and fined the plating company.

Free Tibet! (0, Offtopic)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276049)

It's the blood of the hundreds of thousands of Tibetans slaughtered by the Chinese. May they be haunted forever by their crimes.

Chinese lying? Unheard of! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276107)

Wow! The Chinese photoshopped something to embellish or exaggerate a story!? I've never heard of that before!

Oh wait, yes I have. It was called the Rape of Nanking.

Re:Chinese lying? Unheard of! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276425)

Wow! The Chinese photoshopped something to embellish or exaggerate a story!? I've never heard of that before!

Oh wait, yes I have. It was called the Rape of Nanking.

Go fuck yourself with a flaming telephone pole - an old, used one with lots of 4-inch-long splinters coming off of it.

Seriously.

Because you sound like an idiotic Twoofer/Holocaust denier, too.

Re:Chinese lying? Unheard of! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276499)

Wow! The Chinese photoshopped something to embellish or exaggerate a story!? I've never heard of that before!

Oh wait, yes I have. It was called the Rape of Nanking.

Yeah, sure. [wikipedia.org]

During the Japanese reign of terror in Nanking – which, by the way, continues to this day to a considerable degree – the Reverend John Magee, a member of the American Episcopal Church Mission who has been here for almost a quarter of a century, took motion pictures that eloquently bear witness to the atrocities committed by the Japanese .... One will have to wait and see whether the highest officers in the Japanese army succeed, as they have indicated, in stopping the activities of their troops, which continue even today.[55]

        On December 13, about 30 soldiers came to a Chinese house at #5 Hsing Lu Koo in the southeastern part of Nanking, and demanded entrance. The door was open by the landlord, a Mohammedan named Ha. They killed him immediately with a revolver and also Mrs. Ha, who knelt before them after Ha's death, begging them not to kill anyone else. Mrs. Ha asked them why they killed her husband and they shot her. Mrs. Hsia was dragged out from under a table in the guest hall where she had tried to hide with her 1 year old baby. After being stripped and raped by one or more men, she was bayoneted in the chest, and then had a bottle thrust into her vagina. The baby was killed with a bayonet. Some soldiers then went to the next room, where Mrs. Hsia's parents, aged 76 and 74, and her two daughters aged 16 and 14. They were about to rape the girls when the grandmother tried to protect them. The soldiers killed her with a revolver. The grandfather grasped the body of his wife and was killed. The two girls were then stripped, the elder being raped by 2–3 men, and the younger by 3. The older girl was stabbed afterwards and a cane was rammed in her vagina. The younger girl was bayoneted also but was spared the horrible treatment that had been meted out to her sister and mother. The soldiers then bayoneted another sister of between 7–8, who was also in the room. The last murders in the house were of Ha's two children, aged 4 and 2 respectively. The older was bayoneted and the younger split down through the head with a sword.

Lake Nyos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276163)

Reminds me of Lake Nyos in Cameroon. Trapped CO2 caused the lake to turn orange and kill surrounding people and animals.
Many different possibilities that could cause this.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zxepIf_keLY/TH56IPnMMeI/AAAAAAAAFos/iAAbNerr5y8/s1600/nyos1_l.jpg

nge reference missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276215)

Maybe there was a battle between giant mechas upstream?

You know when you're in a flat with three girls? (3, Funny)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276243)

And then they get "sync'd"?

Now imagine that with 14 million women and poor sanitation.

Just do you know... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276261)

...that river was called golden for a reason -- it always carries suspended particles of clay, so the color of the river depends on the composition of clay around it.

Red clay is nothing unusual, so most likely the river eroded some part of a bank with a different clay composition. If this is the case, any sane geologist should be able to find the place along the river where color changes, take water samples, and determine the source.

nge reference missing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276287)

There was a battle between giant mechas upstream...

100% terrible photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41276467)

Courtesy of the Daily Fail.

Seriously, they didn't even paint behind his arm.

cyanobacteria ? (2)

cats-paw (34890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41276513)

a bloom caused by excess nutrients, i.e. pollution, in the water ?

maybe a kind of algae ?

that would be my guess.

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