BEIJING, China — While the problem of serious air pollution in China is widely discussed, there have been other happenings in the country that border on the surreal. Here are ten strange photos of pollution China.
Water Turns Red Overnight
A river in Zhejiang Province, a water source normally deemed clean enough to drink from, turned blood-red within the span of an hour. At around 5 a.m., those who were awake and walking about said that everything seemed normal, but suddenly the water started getting darker and was soon completely red. Residents also said there was a strange smell wafting through the air that morning.
Source and Photo: ABCNews
The Baffling Red River Mystery
A journalist takes a sample of the red river for future research. The river has turned red before due to illegal dumping by companies. The river is close to a food coloring company, a paper manufacturer, and clothing-maker.
Source: Washington Post
As the temperature rises, so does the amount of cyanobacteria in Chaohu Lake. Located in Hefei, Anhui province, the lake is filled with algae that worsens water quality and emits strong odors.
Source and Photo: Castle-Journal
Smog in Olympic Park
People gather at Olympic Park in Beijing, enveloped in the thick haze caused by air pollution. It has become customary to wear a mask or other form of face protection when stepping outside to avoid breathing in the polluted air.
Source and Photo: The Guardian
River of Dead Fish
Thousands of dead fish float along a 19-mile stretch of river in Hubei Province, central China. They were poisoned by ammonia coming from a local chemical plant. The World Health Organization states that “naturally occurring ammonia” appears in surface water at about 12 milligrams per liter, and water tests taken here revealed concentrations as high as 196 milligrams per liter.
Source: NY Times
White Foam Leakage
In Nanjing, pedestrians saw the pavement in Wende Road start to split open, spewing stinking white foam from its cracks. The foam, described by some as “marshmallow-like,” spread to a radius of 45 meters, forcing firefighters to evacuate some people and redirect traffic. City authorities stated that the substance was “caused by subway construction underground.”
Photo: Getty Images
Pool of Algae
Algae is thought to be caused by pollution from agriculture and industry. In China, the largest algal bloom ever recorded has turned the Yellow Sea green. While the phenomenon has attracted hundreds of tourists, it has detrimental effects – the algae blocks sunlight from entering the ocean and suffocates marine life, which can dramatically change the ecosystem.
Source: The Guardian
Photo: Scoop Post
A leak from a copper plant in Shanghang, Fujian released 9,100 cubic meters of waste into a major waterway called the Ting River. The plant was forced to shut down and the Fujian government stated it will take legal action against the mining company in charge.
Source: China Economic Review
An estimated 350 million people will move into Chinese cities in the next two decades, which means that the number of cars in China may surpass 200 million by 2020. In an attempt to control the worsening air quality and the gridlock traffic, major cities like Beijing and Guangzhou have imposed vehicle ownership restrictions. However, Ford Motor Co.’s chairman has stated that China should take further measures by facilitating greater use of electric vehicles and corresponding infrastructure to accommodate the cars.
The World Bank estimates China to be home to 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities. Researchers have indicated grave dangers with the pollution in China, stating that it has already shortened current life expectancy. The need to find lasting solutions and prevent future occurrences like those shown above has become a much more pressing matter.
– Joan Chung
Source and Photo: Bloomberg