As it turns out, the Black Sea may not be so black after all. In a recent image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, the water is tinged with turquoise—from billions of phytoplankton being carried on the sea’s currents and eddies. Made up of multiple photographs taken over several passes, the composite image was taken from an altitude of 438 miles on May 29, 2017.
The phytoplankton feed off nutrients brought in by rivers such as the Danube and Dnieper, and they in turn support fish, shellfish, and other marine organisms. Sometimes, however, large blooms can result in the loss of oxygen from the water—eutrophication—and suffocate marine life.
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