A huge swath of algae in the Yellow Sea, 410-square-km in size, is drifting towards the Chinese city of Qingdao and expected to blanket Qingdao's beaches in two days' time. The part of the algae island which is currently blanketing a large expanse of the beach is reported to be 70 meters wide and 100 meters long.
The algae, though not toxic, ravages the ecosystem because it consumes large quantities of oxygen, thus suffocating other marine life.
The pictures look scary but the locals are used to this phenomena, as this is the third time in five years this has happened. Shandong suffered severe green algae invasions in 2007, 2008 and 2010 that decimated its aquaculture and cost millions of yuan in damage. In 2008, it threatened Olympic sailing events that were held in Qingdaos waters.