A video showcasing the alarming algae bloom on Lough Neagh has become the top trending post on the popular Reddit forum, r/interestingasf**k, with its 11.4 million users. Originally shared online SDLP Mid Ulster councillor Denise Johnston, the video has now captured the curiosity of the online community. The footage depicts a dense green bloom resting on the surface of the water, resembling thick paint.
The accumulation of this toxic sludge is a result of large quantities of cyanobacteria, which is harmful to animals and can also make humans sick. It is a matter of concern, as 40% of Northern Ireland’s water supply comes from Lough Neagh. The video was uploaded on Monday evening and has garnered 17,000 upvotes, along with numerous comments from intrigued viewers, including many who are not from Northern Ireland.
The lough has been experiencing algae bloom incidents in recent months. These blooms are a natural occurrence, often associated with warmer conditions and longer daylight hours during the summer. However, some types of algae release toxins as they decay or degrade. The excessive nutrients from fertilizers used in nearby fields farmers have caused an overgrowth of algae, resulting in a build-up of nitrogen and phosphorus. This excess growth depletes oxygen levels in the water when the algae dies. Moreover, the blooms obstruct sunlight, affecting the growth of underwater plants.
Recently, environmentalists held a symbolic farewell ceremony, referring to it as the “death” of the UK and Ireland’s largest freshwater lake. They accused polluters of causing the significant bloom of toxic blue-green algae.
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