China Picture of the Day: The Return of the Green Beach

By Matt Schiavenza
seaweedrizhaobanner.jpgSinaJust imagine: you're a resident of Rizhao, Shandong Province, China. It's a hot day. You and your friends decide to take the day off and head to the city's beaches for a day of surf and sun. But when you get to the beach, you see this:

seaweedrizhao2.png
Sina

Well, there's always a public swimming pool, I guess. Fortunately, there's nothing at all sinister about the source of Rizhao's green beaches, as this build-up of seaweed is a natural occurrence.
 
For residents of the nearby city of Qingdao, though, these green beaches bring up an uncomfortable memory from five years ago, when an algae bloom created a similar visual effect in their city.

qingdao2008algaebloom.jpg
Ng Han Guan/AP

Because Qingdao was the site of many sailing events for the 2008 Summer Olympics, hosted that year in Beijing, the local government dispatched soldiers to clean up the mess right away. A month later, the sailing events transpired without incident. And for these two boys, a little bit of algae wasn't about to spoil their fun.

chinakidsalgae.jpg
Nir Elias/Reuters


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/06/china-picture-of-the-day-the-return-of-the-green-beach/276814/