China's thick waves of algae from the Yellow Sea captured in photos

  • Thick green waves were photographed draped across the Qingdao coastline in the Shandong Province of China
  • A 12 part series of images were captured on June 29 showing sanitation workers helping clear the green sludge
  • Citizens collecting oysters and fishing in the other-worldly 'green tide' can also be seen in the photographs
  • The seaweed, known as Ulva Prolifera or Hutai in Mandarin, covered about 58,000 hectares and occurs annually
  • It is thought to have been caused by the booming edible seaweed industry in the Jiangsu coast

By Aneeta Bhole For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 01:12 EST, 30 June 2016 | Updated: 05:10 EST, 30 June 2016

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The ocean off the coast of a popular seaside destination in mainland China has been blanketed with green seaweed turning the water from crystal clear to thick and murky.

Other-worldly images of the algal bloom at Qingdao, in eastern Shandong province, show sanitation workers shovelling the large scale Ulva Prolifera infestation which has been turning the once golden beaches into verdant meadows since the first outbreak in 2008.

Citizen's fishing in the thick green sea and foraging for oyster along the rocky coast are some of the images which can be seen in the 12 part series although the 'green tide' makes this difficult due to the risk of asphyxiation marine life face due to the emerald green plant life. 

A man is seen attempting to fish (pictured) in the thick emerald green seaweed which has draped the coast of Qingdao in the Shandong Province of China, the eleventh most sought after tourist destination in the country  

A man is seen attempting to fish (pictured) in the thick emerald green seaweed which has draped the coast of Qingdao in the Shandong Province of China, the eleventh most sought after tourist destination in the country  

The 'green tide' usually washes in from the Yellow Sea between June to July each year and has been photographed on Wednesday June 29 and covered a distance of about 58,000 hectares (pictured) 

The 'green tide' usually washes in from the Yellow Sea between June to July each year and has been photographed on Wednesday June 29 and covered a distance of about 58,000 hectares (pictured) 

Waves of thick green sludge (pictured) washed into the once golden beaches which have since been turned into verdant meadows of green algal bloom 

Waves of thick green sludge (pictured) washed into the once golden beaches which have since been turned into verdant meadows of green algal bloom 

Ariel views of the ocean show a blanket of emerald green being shovelled by workers into hessian sacks and bulldozed from the beaches. 

Pictures taken on Wednesday June 29 showed the tide which usually washes in from the Yellow Sea between June to July each year covering a distance of about 58,000 hectares.

While the algae appears harmless to humans, marine life is at risk of asphyxiation as the green sludge sucks up oxygen from the water. 

Many theories blame the phenomenon on climate change and industrial pollution both of which contribute to warm sea temperatures that help cultivate the algae's rapid growth.

Many theories blame the phenomenon on climate change and industrial pollution both of which contribute to warm sea temperatures that help cultivate the algae's rapid growth to such a grand scale (pictured) 

Many theories blame the phenomenon on climate change and industrial pollution both of which contribute to warm sea temperatures that help cultivate the algae's rapid growth to such a grand scale (pictured) 

While the algae appears harmless to humans, marine life is at risk of asphyxiation as the green sludge sucks up oxygen from the water and a rotten smell emits from decomposing seaweed (pictured) 

While the algae appears harmless to humans, marine life is at risk of asphyxiation as the green sludge sucks up oxygen from the water and a rotten smell emits from decomposing seaweed (pictured) 

The 12 part series show a woman foraging for oysters along the rocky coast which is covered in the Ulva Prolifera which is also known as Hutai in Mandarin (pictured) 

The 12 part series show a woman foraging for oysters along the rocky coast which is covered in the Ulva Prolifera which is also known as Hutai in Mandarin (pictured) 

But as the tourist city struggles with yet another year of the bloom scientists have blamed the expansion of edible seaweed farming along the coast as an alternative explanation to the outbreak.

A study from 2013 the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, concluded the algae originates from the Jiangsu coast before being swept north towards Qingdao.

Scientists from the Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research cited satellite images and field observations as the basis for the theory.

Scientist's believe the algae grow on the rafts used by the Jiangsu seaweed farmers and when the seaweed is harvested the Ulva Prolifera, Hutai in Mandarin, is removed from the rafts and discarded to be swept away by the waves in the sea. 

Sanitation workers shovelled the massive amounts of seaweed from the coastline which were likely transported to be turned into animal feed, fertiliser and a medicinal supplement known as hutai sugar, thought to lower blood sugar

Sanitation workers shovelled the massive amounts of seaweed from the coastline which were likely transported to be turned into animal feed, fertiliser and a medicinal supplement known as hutai sugar, thought to lower blood sugar

Sanitation workers (pictured) would shovel the emerald green moss into hessian bags to help clear the beaches at the populat seaside destination

Sanitation workers (pictured) would shovel the emerald green moss into hessian bags to help clear the beaches at the populat seaside destination

The algae (pictured) first hit in 2008, weeks before Qingdao was in the international spotlight as the host of the sailing events for the Beijing Olympics and again in 2013 covering more than 75,000 hectares, double the amount in 2008

The algae (pictured) first hit in 2008, weeks before Qingdao was in the international spotlight as the host of the sailing events for the Beijing Olympics and again in 2013 covering more than 75,000 hectares, double the amount in 2008

Rapid growth rates and a high capacity of nutrients in the ocean help with growth hitting one million tonnes in only two months.

Another study showed that the 2008 algae outbreak was caused by a sudden surge in the levels of nutrients such as phosphate and nitrogen in the seawater. 

The algae first hit in 2008, weeks before Qingdao was in the international spotlight as the host of the sailing events for the Beijing Olympics and again in 2013 covering more than 75,000 hectares, double the amount in 2008.

More than 10,000 volunteers and 1,000 soldiers cleared the 20,000 tonnes of slime out of the sea three years ago which was then taken to a processing depot where it was dried and turned into animal feed, fertiliser and a medicinal supplement known as hutai sugar, thought to lower blood sugar.

More than 10,000 volunteers and 1,000 soldiers cleared the 20,000 tonnes of slime out of the sea three years ago which was taken to processing depots much like the sanitation workers seen on Wednesday (pictured)

More than 10,000 volunteers and 1,000 soldiers cleared the 20,000 tonnes of slime out of the sea three years ago which was taken to processing depots much like the sanitation workers seen on Wednesday (pictured)

Scientist's believe the algae grow on the rafts used by the Jiangsu seaweed farmers and when the seaweed is harvested the Ulva Prolifera, Hutai in Mandarin, is removed from the rafts and discarded to be swept away by the waves in the sea

Scientist's believe the algae grow on the rafts used by the Jiangsu seaweed farmers and when the seaweed is harvested the Ulva Prolifera, Hutai in Mandarin, is removed from the rafts and discarded to be swept away by the waves in the sea

Rapid growth rates and a high capacity of nutrients in the ocean help with growth hitting one million tonnes in only two months

Rapid growth rates and a high capacity of nutrients in the ocean help with growth hitting one million tonnes in only two months

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