Nov 15

Mystery as pond in Hawaii nature reserve turns bright shade of pink

Local wildlife authorities have been attempting to figure out exactly what might be responsible for the color change.

The unusual phenomenon, which has been afflicting Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on Maui, Hawaii since October 30th, has been leaving staff at the reserve scratching their heads.

Until a definitive explanation can be found, visitors have been advised not to touch the water.

“I just got a report from somebody that was walking on the beach, and they called me up like, ‘There’s something weird going on over here,'” refuge manager Bret Wolfe said of the moment she first found out about the situation.

Link to video

As things stand, it looks as though a single-celled organism known as halobacteria may be responsible for the coloration, though more tests will need to be carried out to know for sure.

“Halobacteria are salt-loving organisms found in high salinity water bodies,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrote on its website.

“The salinity in the Kealia Pond outlet is currently greater than 70 part per thousand, or twice the salinity of seawater.”

“UH is doing more analyses to determine the exact strain of the halobacteria. We will be continuing to gather information and will keep the public informed. “

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