It is not an animal or disease. It is a collective name given to plants, which live underwater. Algae do not have specialised body parts such as roots, stems and leaves.
They range in size from very tiny cells to 30 metre long weeds. A special characteristic of algae is that they multiply very fast.

Underwater Terminator [Illustration by Kusum Chamoli]
Underwater Terminator [Illustration by Kusum Chamoli]

US researchers recently identified the algae, which has caused large-scale destruction of European sea habitats – almost 4,050 hectares of sea habitats along the Mediterranean coast, according to a report in ‘Down To Earth’ magazine. This algae destroys underwater plant and animal life. Being toxic it forces the fish to seek new homes.

Caulerpa Taxifolia (C Taxifolia), was found in Agua Hedionda near San Diego, US. Researchers feel that the algae may have ended up in the sea probably after someone emptied the contents of their aquarium into a lagoon. A lagoon is a shallow water body like a pond, which ultimately gets connected to a larger water body.

Due to this reason, the sale of algae was banned for aquarium use in US1999. All algae are not harmful but some like C. Taxifolia can cause a lot of harm to the other creatures living in the sea. Bright green and feathery, C Taxifolia grows fast, and poses a big threat to the delicate balance in the sea environment.

230 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 8 (13-14 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: world news
Tags: #lagoon, #algae, #aquarium, #habitats

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