As the women’s synchronized diving teams took to the pool in Rio de Janeiro today, they were greeted by something a little out of the ordinary. The diving pool had turned green over night – while the neighboring water polo pool remained a crystal clear blue.
Understandably, Olympic organizers, media and the Internet were completely baffled. However, signs are beginning to point that the green hue was likely caused by an algae bloom.
Of course, as with any mystery occurrence, there have been far-fetched and disgusting theories as to why the Olympic pool changed colors overnight. Some have suggested that it is green for Brazil’s national pride, a possible Ghostbusters advertising campaign or, plain and simple, urine.
However, chemist Raychelle Burks said on Twitter, “Algae or oxidized copper is typically the thing–No alien goo or ectoplasmas.”
Olympic divers have reported that the water is so cloudy that they cannot even see their diving partners.
I want to know why they even risked going into the water if they were unsure as to why the waters were green.
According to a handbook on pool chemistry, oxidized copper generally leaves a pool behind with clear green water instead of cloudy water. cloudy water generally indicates that an algae bloom is the issue.
Algae blooms can be sparked by changes in a pool’s chlorine level. A common way to avoid this is to use chlorine shock overnight to kill any potential algae in the pool, which probably means that someone is about to be fired.
The International Olympic Committee will reportedly be releasing an official statement on the green pool this afternoon – even though officials are stumped at the moment.
“Water tests at Maria Lenk’s Aquatic Park were conducted and there was found to be no risk to the athlete’s health,” an official said on Thursday afternoon. “We’re investigating what the cause of the situation was, but we are happy to report that the competition was successfully completed.”
Green water or not, Olympic athletes continue to dive into the pool. That’s dedication, albeit a little disgusting.