Pink carpet of sea luminaries off sylt

Pink carpet of sea luminaries off sylt

These plankton organisms have a diameter of about 0.5 millimeters. Many people were concerned about the masses, reported the "sylter rundschau". But the little animals are completely harmless, says norbert grimm, sylt’s environment officer.

An accumulation like the current one can only occur in july and august. The reason is the plankton sequence in the sea: first came the plant plankton, then the animal plankton. The marine lichens graze on previously occurring algae. The little animals can only be seen when they float together on the water. "The color depends on the consistency. When everything is still watery, it looks rusty red.If the mixture thickens, for example in a so-called "feuchttumpel", "it remains a pink, gelatinous mass, foamy, like egg white or wallpaper paste". But the carpet does not spread a stench: "it smells rather fresh."

The glow of the plankton is a so-called bioluminescence, a chemical process that is triggered by stimuli, similar to a luminescent oat. The emerging light is cold. The phenomenon can occur every year, according to the planctologist grimm.

The organism is found all over the world, says matthias strasser of the alfred wegener institute in list. However, it needs a higher salt content, i.E. It is found in the north sea and saline areas of the baltic sea. But to discover the luminous carpet, you need luck and the right position. The carpet has already been blown away by the wind on sylt’s coastline.

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