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

By Meera Dolasia on September 10, 2012

CCSS NAS-4 Word Search

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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  • MmmmWednesday, March 18, 2015 at 8:37 am
    I'm American!!!!!!
    • lucyMonday, March 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm
      I am also chinese. I know little english. China is my country.
      • IlseMonday, March 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm
        ghost!!!! OMG
        • ghostMonday, March 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm
          • IlseMonday, March 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm
            :PPPP its not wow because that can cause many issuess
            • IlseMonday, March 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm
              hey ghost its not that bad. its only bad for that towns drinking water
              • erich Monday, March 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm
                I live there to Ilse is my younger sister I think that the river is wierd
                • IlseFriday, March 13, 2015 at 7:45 am
                  This means no more drinking water for us. O no.
                  • IlseFriday, March 13, 2015 at 7:41 am
                    I live in China. I have seen that orangey river. It's weird
                    • Lu-Si yanFriday, March 13, 2015 at 7:24 am
                      The capital of China is Beijing and China's building blocks are laws strong families food tradition there are more but you will have to do some more research to get more answers as my grandpa says come see me when noble heron flys east

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