22 Dec | 2022 | ALPALGA field campaign at Mount Olympus, Greece, in the footsteps of Aristotle
[Photo Report] Aristotle was the first biologist to describe “red snows” in his book “History of Animals” and to consider they were due to living organisms. The only place where he was able to see this phenomenon in the 4th century B.C. was on Mount Olympus, whose summit is close to 3,000 metres high. Scientists from the AlpAlga consortium (E. Coissac, L. Liger, E. Maréchal, F. Pompanon, S. Ravanel) went there in May 2022, and looked for the existence of these red snows on the slopes of this limestone massif. They identified blooms containing the alga Sanguina nivaloides, and with the support of Mount Olympus National Park, collected samples and conducted measurements to study these microorganisms. They thus confirm that the phenomenon described in the ancient times is indeed linked to the presence of this microalgae.