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Elizabeth Rall
Elizabeth Rall • 2 years ago

Pink snow, blood snow or watermelon snow, looks like and even smells faintly of watermelon. The pink coloration is due to a cold-loving algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis. This phenomenon is common during the summer in alpine and coastal polar regions worldwide.

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Watermelon snow, also called snow algae, red snow, or blood snow, is snow that is reddish or pink in color, with the slight scent of a fresh watermelon. It is caused by the presence mainly of Chlamydomonas nivalis, a species of green algae containing a secondary red carotenoid pigment (astaxanthin) in addition to chlorophyll. Unlike most species of fresh-water algae, it is cryophilic (cold-loving) and thrives in freezing water.Its specific epithet, nivalis, is from Latin and refers to snow.

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