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June 7, 2010

New Algae Species Discovered In Chile’s Patagonia Region

A new algae type has arrived to Chile

It's latin name is DidymospheniaIt - but it is often referred to as the "Didymo" or “Rock Snot” or “The Toliet Paper Weed,” and is usually brought over from other parts of the world through tourists who carry it in their rafting, kayaking or fishing gear. 

In February, Chris Spelius, owner of the adventure travel company Expediciones Chile, was standing out by the Futaleufu River in Southern Chile waiting for a client, when he looked into the normally clear water and noticed something unusual.
“I saw what looked like ground-up toilet paper in the water,” Spelius recalled to the Santiago Times this week.  “I have been here for 24 years and I knew I had never seen this before.” 

If left unregulated, the organism could have a devastating effect on the local ecosystems because it kills off bottom-dwelling insects that fish normally feed off of.  

If you want to read more about this development then follow this link:

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