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primordial sea of algae

Baltic Sea, along the coast of Sweden, blooming with an outbreak of cyanobacteria / blue-green algae.


Credited in some reports to fertilizer runoff and warmer weather, the algae blooms are quite dramatic this year. They turn the water a neon color of blue-green with yellow-white filaments. (Bloomberg News).


Here is a Terra MODIS satellite surface algae map for the day I was flying between Frankfurt and Tallinn.


As I photographed this colorful spectacle in the open seas, I was reminded of Craig Venter’s discovery, while shotgun sequencing the microbial populations of the sea: every 250 miles, the microbial genes are 85% different. The oceans are not homogenous masses. They consist of myriad uncharted regions of ecological diversity.

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Taken on July 16, 2005