We’re dinoflag-elated to meet you! Our Kelp Forest exhibit is still blooming with Akashiwo sanguinae phytoplankton. The Mountain Dew hue of the water is caused by trillions of single-celled algae—each one half the width of a human hair. These blooms have happened at the Aquarium before—in fact, a similar event nearly derailed the filming of Star Trek IV!
One of these ridiculously tiny rusty rocket-ships was photographed by our water quality specialists under a microscope. Every day, our collective of cool chemists characterizes the aquatic makeup of the Aquarium to keep our critters content. So far, this bloom is just a novelty inside our building—but in the wild, these blooms can create a sea foam that acts like a detergent to the water-proofing oils of bird feathers.
This beautiful bloom is a reminder to all of us human-scale beings that over 60% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by ocean organisms on the same scale—and smaller—as this particularly imposing phytoplankter. Green food dye for thought!