Why is the Nile turning red?

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The Nile River turning red can be attributed to several factors, both natural and man-made. One of the most common natural explanations is the occurrence of a red algae bloom. This phenomenon, also known as "red tide," happens when certain conditions enable a type of microscopic algae to reproduce in such great numbers that the waters they live in appear to be stained a bloody red. This can occur in both oceans and freshwater ecosystems, including the Nile River1. Another scientific explanation suggests that the Nile River has a high concentration of dissolved iron. When this substance mixes with the gas released by earthquakes, the oxide is released and gives the water its red hue5. However, man-made factors can also contribute to the Nile turning red. The river is heavily polluted in Egypt by waste water, rubbish, agricultural runoff, and industrial waste. Around 150 million tonnes of industrial waste are dumped into it every year, according to the state-run Environmental Affairs Agency3. In 2015, a barge managed by an Egyptian army-owned company capsized in Upper Egypt, spilling 500 tons of phosphate into the Nile6. It's important to note that while these occurrences can give the Nile a red appearance, they do not literally turn the water into blood. The biblical account of the Nile turning to blood is considered by many to be a supernatural event, and attempts to provide "natural" explanations for such events are often met with skepticism4. In conclusion, the Nile River turning red can be attributed to a combination of natural phenomena such as red algae blooms and dissolved iron, as well as man-made pollution.
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