Trivia

Hard

Snow Isn’t Always White; In The Sierra Nevada Mountains Snow Is Sometimes?

Pink
Black
Blue
Green
An example of pink snow in the mountains.
cjnoof/Flickr

Answer: Pink

If you hit the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains during the summer, you might be in for a little surprise: reddish-pink snow. The snow, known as “blood snow” and “watermelon snow,” is tinged the color it is thanks to a species of green algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, that contains a secondary red carotenoid pigment in addition to the green color of the chlorophyll we typically associate with algae.

Disturbing the snow damages the membranes of the algae and makes the color more pronounced, which means ski tracks and footprints stand out bright red compared to the lighter surrounding snow; it’s a rather startling change to new skiers and hikers in the area.

The phenomenon was first observed by Aristotle (“watermelon” snow occurs in alpine and coastal polar regions all around the world, not just in the Sierra Nevada region) and puzzled scientists for centuries thereafter. Early theories proposed that the coloration was caused by minerals, oxidation, and even dust left behind by meteoric activity. In 1818, Robert Brown theorized that it was a type of algae (a theory confirmed by later sample gathering and analysis).

Trivia

Easy

What Did Microsoft Include With Early Windows Versions To Train People To Use The Mouse?

Trivia

Hard

After Whom Was Princess Zelda, Of The Legend of Zelda Fame, Named?

Trivia

Easy

What Is The Only Day Of The Week That Derives Its Name From Roman Mythology?

Trivia

Easy

The Largest Number Of Remaining Blockbuster Video Stores Are Located In?

Trivia

Hard

The Original “Snake Oil” Was Effective At Treating?

Trivia

Hard

A Popular Sci-Fi Show Forced The U.S. National Park Service To Post Warning Signs Where?

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Video Game To Feature Point-And-Click Mechanics Was?

Trivia

Hard

The Jedi Archives Are Modeled After Which Earth-Based Library?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Optical Illusions Can Be Enlisted To Aid In Weight Loss?

Trivia

Easy

Skimmers Are Used To Capture What Kind Of Data?