Fun, Disgusting Pictures of Kids Swimming in Goop

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
July 18 2011 4:49 PM

Boy vs. Algae

Children can find the joy in anything–even a massive expanse of slimy algae.

'It is like the green grass. It feels so soft,' Li Li, a child from Handan, an inland city in the northern Hebei Province, told the UK’s Daily Mail.

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Others are less impressed by the mysterious algae that is currently spreading across the coast of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province. This is the third time in five years that the popular tourism area has been hit by a blanket of green.

“We don't know where it originated and why it's suddenly growing so rapidly,” professor Bao Xianwen from the Qingdao-based Ocean University told the China Post about the algae, which is threatening marine life as well as tourism.

Pollution from industry and farm chemicals is likely responsible, report the BBC and other news outlets, but Chinese officials generally blame nature, stating that the sea is too salty and the sun is too hot.

One of the worst algae takeovers came in 2008, just before an Olympic sailing competition was slated to depart from the area. As the government sent in 10,000 People's Liberation Army recruits to shovel it away, an official offered a positive spin on the foul-smelling green goop:

"The Japanese eat it," she said.

This past weekend, no one seemed to be eating the pollution-resistant algae, but families found their own ways to enjoy it, as you can see in the photos above.

Heather Murphy is a former Slate photo editor and the creator of Behold, the Photo Blog. Follow her on Twitter.

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