by Max Barry

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by The Democratic Island Federation of Frieden-und Freudenland. . 16 reads.

Update on the Kolaxa Sea Pollution

For the Attention of the General Public.

We rigorously carry on our research about the mysterious algae in the Kolaxa Sea. The water specimens sent from Bearadise have arrived at our laboratory at 11.00 a.m. (FFT) today. We have analysed the water samples and so far they confirm our initial conclusion, namely that the nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the Kolaxa Sea are extraordinarily high. The cause of these high nitrogen and phosphorus levels, however, is yet unknown. Excessive use of artificial fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus in the agricultural sector would have been a good answer, but no country with a coastline on the Kolaxa Sea seems to have an exceptionally strong agricultural sector. So we eliminate this from our list of possible explanations.

The mysterious algae we have discovered have, perhaps unsurprisingly by now, also been detected in the water samples from Bearadise. And these algae never fail to amaze us. We have recently discovered that these algae indeed have chlorophylls, as suggested by our colleagues from Gil Zardon. The kind of photosynthesis they execute, however, is very different from the one we know.

Normally this is the kind of photosynthesis that occurs in Nature as we know it:

These algae, however, have the following stupefying photosynthesis process.

CO2 + H20 → H2CO3

So these algae produce carbonic acid from carbondioxide and water! Interestingly, they can ingest some of this carbonic acid as a food, and release the excess of it into the sea. (Upon this discovery, we retested the water samples and found out that they had high levels of acidity, as well.) These high acidity levels, of course, will have dire consequences. Just to name a small example, acidic waters will erode the carbon-based exoskeletons of the crustaceans. In addition, we suspect that high levels of carbonic acid can also damage the DNA by destroying the covalent bonds that hold together the base pairs in a strand of DNA. A DNA strand, by the way, contains phosphorus and nitrogen, as seen below:

If so, the mind-blowing amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Kolaxa Sea could from the damaged DNAs of the sea animals. This would also explain the mass fish deaths.

One question remains, though.

Where did these algae come from? Considering that their effects on the environment are quite fatal, we should have noticed their presence long ago, unless-------they just arrived!

We have already noted the pecularities of the cell structures of these creatures, and based on all evidence we have, they appear extraterrestrial. So how did they come here?

Just as we were pondering this challenging question, we received a very surprising e-mail from a Frieden-und Freudenlandian citizen who wished to remain anonymous, and whom we will simply refer to by the nickname of Susan, henceforth.

Susan told us in her e-mail that she has spent her vacation in Mozworld just 2 weeks ago - where she witnessed an unbelivable event. She saw a meteor flash across the sky and - possibly - splash into the Kolaxa Sea. She also recorded the event with her cellphone camera. The video is below:

We thus believe that it is within the realm of possibility that these algae came to the Kolaxa Sea after a space journey on a stray meteor. This would also explain why they lack a carbon-based cell structure we naturally expect to find in all earthlings.

Our quest, however, is not over yet. We still have to figure out how we can fight the pestilence that these algae cause --- and more importantly, since these algae are the soundest evidence that THERE IS LIFE OUT THERE, we will have to figure out what else is there, and whether there is any other life form that we could hope to communicate with using any of the symbolic systems we have.

Needless to say, we hope to collaborate with other scientists from all over Forest throughout this thrilling scientific journey!!!

Professor Jeremy Smith, the leader of the research team of Marine Studies Center, Worcestershire University