30 interesting facts about algae


Posted on May 28, 2022      126


Sometimes the whole coast can become overgrown with algae

1. Despite their name, algae live not only in water but also on land. They can grow in the forest, in the tundra, on the walls of homes, and even in the hair of animals like sloths and polar bears.

2. Lichens, which are abundant all over the world, are actually hybrid organisms comprising algae, fungi and cyanobacteria.

3. Currently, humanity knows about 30,000 species of algae, but scientists believe that there are actually many more, about a hundred thousand species. It’s just that not all of them have been studied to date.

4. They are an integral part of all food chains in the aquatic environment. Some sea creatures eat them, while others prey on them. Everything is interconnected.

5. They are studied by the science of algology, which is one area of biology. The name “algology” comes from the Latin word “Algae”, which actually means “algae”.

Most algae grows at the bottom of reservoirs, but there are also those that are not attached to anything and grow directly in the water column.

6. Algae are the most ancient of all plants on Earth. Most likely, thanks to them, the oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere formed on our planet in the immemorial past.

7. Algae form the Sargasso Sea, Earth’s only shoreless sea in the Atlantic Ocean. But in fact, Sargassum algae, of which there are about 300 species, are common in all the warm seas of our planet.

8. These plants come in both freshwater and brackish water. But there are many times fewer freshwater plants than saltwater or brackish water plants.

9. According to some studies, the algae of the world’s oceans produces more oxygen than all the forests combined. But trees absorb even more carbon dioxide than they do.

10. The first algae appeared on Earth hundreds of millions of years before the dinosaurs, about 1.6 billion years ago. At least, that’s the age of the oldest fossils discovered by paleontologists.

11. Some types of algae are consumed as food in different countries, while others are used to make a variety of medicines. By the way, agar-agar, popular in vegetarian cuisine, is made of them.

12. Among algae there are parasitic plants that are not capable of photosynthesis themselves. Interestingly, they usually parasitize on algae from other species.

13. The smallest algae are only a few microns in size and cannot be seen without a microscope. They are the smallest of all multicellular organisms on our planet.

14. Among them, there are also unicellular organisms with an extremely primitive structure. They have hardly changed over hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

15. The Red Sea has the most transparent water of all, because not a single river flows into it. It’s called the Red Sea because of the red oscillatoria algae that grows in abundance in its waters.

Laminaria algae, commonly known as seaweed

16. Blue-green algae are not actually plants. They are bacteria, and they are interesting because they are capable of photosynthesis and the production of oxygen.

17. The substances produced by processing various algae are used in almost all industries. They are used in the manufacture of everything from food and beverages to plastics and even explosives.

18. Algae are used to make environmentally friendly biofuels. It is not yet particularly widespread, but in the long term it could well replace gasoline.

19. For the world’s oceans, these plants play the role of filters. They absorb various pollutants from the water and thus purify it. Therefore, some of their species are widely used by aquarists for the same purpose.

20. The largest algae in the world is macrocyst is. Some specimens of these sea plants reach a length of 164-196 ft and a weight of 264-330 lb.

Algae are great at growing on rocks and even on the walls of buildings

21. Some rocks on Earth have developed thanks to the activity of algae over hundreds of millions of years. Some of these rocks are, for example, oil shale and diatomite.

22. These plants live only in the upper layers of water, where there is at least some sunlight that they need for photosynthesis. The absolute record of the depth at which they have ever been found is 268 meters. Not much when you think of how deep the seas and oceans are.

23. The most widely eaten algae is porphyries and seaweed. Porphyries are the same seaweed in which sushi and rolls are wrapped in Japanese restaurants.

24. Seaweed is very good for humans because it is full of useful substances, including iodine. But too much iodine in the body will not lead to anything good.

25. In Scotland, on the island of North Ronaldsay, the local sheep population has adapted to eating algae that waves are constantly throwing ashore because of a lack of pasture. This is the only such case in the world.

26. In some countries, mainly in Southeast Asia, dried seaweed is used to stuff blankets and pillows. They are simply more readily available there than down and feathers.

27. The single-celled green algae chlorella was one of the first living organisms to enter space during the exploration of space in the 20th century.

28. Many experiments are underway to produce algae even more efficiently at absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. This would allow them to be used for air filtration on orbiting stations and spacecraft.

29. Despite their apparent brittleness, they can break down even very strong mineral compounds. Drilling algae, for example, can penetrate even rocks and shells of mollusks.

30. In cosmetology, these plants are also used widely. Some of their species go into the production of cosmetic preparations, while others are used for wraps. It is believed to rejuvenate the skin.


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