X

Trivia

Hard

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

Pink
Black
Green
Blue
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

Hard

Maps That Are Geometrically Distorted To Display Related Data Are Called?

Trivia

Hard

The Actor Who Is The Real Center Of Hollywood Ala “The Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon” Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Word “Clue” Traces Its Roots Back To?

Trivia

Hard

The Rotating Displays Used On Dozens Of Game Shows Throughout The 20th Century Are Called?

Trivia

Hard

Jumboisation Is A Technique For Enlarging?

Trivia

Hard

The First Pop CD Featured What Band?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Movie Character Was Allergic To His Costume?

Trivia

Hard

The Blue Laser Lighting Inside The Egg Chamber In The Movie Alien Was Provided By?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Authors Invented A System For Taking Notes In The Dark?

Trivia

Hard

What Was Google’s Original Name?