Jun 09

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Rock Snot: ItsNot a Joke (See What We Did There?)

Turns out, noses aren’t the only things that get snotty: Phlegm-like algae grosses out stream beds, too. Listen up:

ACHOO! Wash your gear before leaving a stream, because rock snot is pretty contagious! (via David Perez)

“Rock snot,” aka didymosphenia geminate, is an algae that most anyone can identify, thanks to its snot-like appearance.

Although it’s not toxic, fast-growing rock snot can overgrow native algae that insects and fishes in the stream rely on for food. It can also smother the streambed, which in turn can affect the flow of water over fish eggs.

Rock snot is spread from stream to stream on the soles of boots, the bottoms of canoes, or in the bilge of kayaks. Dave Arscott, Assistant Director of Stroud Water Research Center, says once it’s in the water there is no way to remove it, so prevention is key.

“We need to clean, check, and dry our gear as we move from waterway to waterway,” he explains.

Anyone have a waterproof tissue?

Get Schooled:

The fine print:




Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/creature-features/rock-snot/