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Istanbul’s Main Waterways Have Turned A Bright Shade Of Blue

The Black Sea has turned blue.

There’s something very strange happening in the waters of Istanbul. The typically brown waters of the Bosphorus, Golden Horn and Black Sea have turned the type of turquoise you’d find in the Bahamas. That’s right, the Black Sea has turned bright blue. The phenomenon is called phytoplankton bloom and consists of a whole bunch (millions) of microorganisms cropping up, floating around and attracting lots of sunlight. The result is the very bright, very blue colour.


Speaking to the Associated Press, environmental engineer Berat Haznedaroglu says that it’s a pretty frequent occurrence. “This year we got a lot of rain events that carried nutrients from the Saharan desert to the Black Sea, which created an optimal environment for this phytoplankton to bloom,” he said. So while it does happen annually, this year is particularly impressive. NASA even captured the bright, swirling waters from its satellite. 

nasa

You can see the bloom from space! Photo: NASA

Just have a look at how neon blue that water is!

It really feels like it doesn’t belong to the waterways of a major city.

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However, just because the water looks postcard pretty blue doesn’t mean that it’s OK to swim in. In fact, the phytoplankton bloom makes it take on a much more milky quality because of the high level of algae. In other words, it’s still sludge. Just sludge that’s nice to look at.

It’s unknown how long the phytoplankton bloom will stick around for, but it’s definitely the best time of the year to see the city. (Lead image: nicolachilton/Instagram)