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Top 5 Facts: Algae

Red marine algae, pigmenting the sea

1

A common form of algae is seaweed, which is very good for you. It’s high in protein, low in fat and contains a number of health-giving minerals such as iron and calcium.

 

 

2

A huge bloom of Southern Atlantic algae is snapped by a passing satellite

It has been suggested that there could be algae present in the subterranean ice on two of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Ganymede and Europa.

 

 

3

Another colourful consequence of algae occurs on the surface of Arctic ice. Also known as watermelon snow due to its pink appearance, this bloom is down to a green algae that contains a red pigment.

 

 

Algae: an ancient and very successful life form

4

Algae can be turned into biofuel by cultivating special oily algae and crushing it (or adding chemicals) to extract the oil. The oil becomes biodiesel, which can then be used as a green fuel.

 

 

5

Deliberately triggering huge plankton blooms by scattering powdered iron into iron-deficient oceans could help algal blooms to absorb excess CO2 in the atmosphere to tackle global warming.