If you ever hiked across the slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada in summer, you have surely noticed that the snow here, at altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, is very unique. For hundreds of years scientists from all over the world couldn’t solve the mystery of “watermelon snow”.
The first accounts of watermelon snow are in the writings of Aristotle. Would you like to know why the snow is pink? The answer is right after the jump.
The answer is simple. The snow turns pink because of microscopic algae known as Chamydomonas nivalis, leaves and pollen of the whitebark pine. Local residents sometimes eat this snow as it has a watermelon scent and tastes like this fruit. However there are reports that pink snow can lead to pink diarrhea.
If you ever get a chance to hike in the Sierra Nevada, keep in mind that yellow snow doesn’t have a lemon aroma or taste. Don’t eat it :)