Video Of The Week - Why Is China's Yangtze River Turning Crimson?

By Meera Dolasia on September 10, 2012

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Asia's longest river, the 6,418 km Yangtze, that originates from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau glaciers and meanders through southwest, central and eastern China before ending in the East China Sea, is normally known as the Golden Watercourse, thanks to its pale brown color. However, since September 6th, the river has taken on a bright red hue and nobody is sure why!

While the color is most prominent in the area around Chongqing, it has been seen in other parts of the river too. Initially, some thought it may have to do with the algae that cause red tides. But experts say that is not possible given that the organisms cannot survive in fresh water.

Chongqing's environmental officials are attributing it to red sand that has been washed downstream thanks to the recent flooding. However, some people are not convinced and think that it is a result of extreme pollution.

As for the residents of the area? Some are keeping away, while others are treading in carefully to collect a sample of this unusually opaque water that resembles tomato juice. And then there are those like this farmer, that are going about their business as though nothing has changed!


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Chongqing, ChinaEast China Sea
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