Antarctica was “bloodwashed” and the white snow turned blood red overnight.

A Facebook post by Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science showed that a research station on an island on the northernmost coast of the Antarctic Peninsula was covered in “heavy snow,”media reported. But these “snows” are somewhat unusual because they are red. But this seemingly bloody scene has nothing to do with hunting seals.

It is reported that this is because of a group of algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis.

Antarctic “Blood Snow”

Snow-coated algae is a kind of algae that grows in the polar snow, when icing in a state of stony, once the ice and snow began to melt, the snow-coated algae will then “bloom”, the snow dyed red. This phenomenon is said to have been first noticed by Aristotle thousands of years ago and is often referred to as “watermelon snow” due to its subtle sweetness and color. And the substances that make these algae red are the same as those in carrots.

In its post, the Ukrainian team said red caused less sunlight to reflect out of the snow, causing it to melt faster. Accelerated melting will lead to more algae growth, creating less ice and snow, and more algae circulation.