Monday, November 26, 2012

The wall is not dirty, it's alive!

Walking on the boardwalk of Playa de Las Canteras in Las Palmas, you can see this: 

It says that right here, under your feet there is a different work of art, every single day. AlgArt.

The poster reads out:

Where does the O2 we breathe come from?
Small organisms known as cyanobacteria developed photosynthesis some 3,5 billion years ago, when life barely existed. As a result of this the production of oxygen dramatically changed the planet’s geology, chemistry and life. They were the origin of all plants and, as such, we owe them our lives, each and every time we breathe. If you want to see them, all you have to do it go down… 
They’re waiting for you.

Here, under your feet there’s a different work of art every day
The microalgae biofilm growing on this wall is a microjungle subjected daily to the dramatic environmental changes (in temperature, humidity, light and saltiness). It is an impressive and ever changing picture on which microalgae are the stars. That’s why we’ve called it AlgArt. You are invited to check it out. Come on down and see it, live!

Always fun with some educational facts on random places!
So, if you go down to the beach, just below this poster, you’ll find more informative posters, and you can see the wall they refer to. So well, if you're interested in some facts on microalgae, here you go!

THE WALL IS NOT DIRTY, IT'S ALIVE! - A microscopic jungle: A very curious kind of life is growing on this wall. Its survival stems from its ability to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions. On this wall grow some very small and completely harmless organisms that are valuable to the environment. They form a kind of a mat a few millimeters thick in which different groups of  cyanobacteria and microalgae coexist. Microalgae represent the planet's greatest reserve of biodiversity for us to learn about and exploit. The Canary Islands is one of the world's most biodiverse regions, especially in microalgae.

EVERYDAY - Every day we consume and use products with  microalgae, present in yogurt, ice cream, sausages, medicines, textile, dyes, cosmetics, soft drinks, beers, sunblocks… :

PURIFICATION - Microalgae makes it possible to recycle urban and industrial water. They are small and powerful purifiers :

ENERGY & CLIMATE - Oil and gas was generated millions of years ago by microalgae. They are the main agents regulating the planet's climate :

RESIDENTS - A drop of water may contain more microalgae than the entire population of the Canaries. An island is a territory surrounded by algae, everywhere!

LIFE - Life on our planet has been possible thanks to the oxygen produced by microalgae for the last 3.5 billion years. 

BEAUTY - Microalgae are so small that their beauty can only be appreciated through a microscope. The diversity of shapes and colous are surprising.


  1. Hvorfor visste ikke jeg dette da vi var der i august? vi gikk jo der.. men for å være helt ærlig så gikk vi ikke ned på stranda der.. for det så skittent ut.. og så er det faktisk levende kunst :) Takk for at du viste oss dette. Atter et supert blogginnlegg fra deg :) Ha en flott uke i solen, hils den fra meg :)

    1. Tusen takk! Jeg liker alle sånne ting og saker, og det er gøy at de lager en slags "utstilling" av det og forklarer tingene! Skal hilse tilbake B-)

  2. Så morsomt! Jeg syns spanjolene er så flinke til å fremheve bra ting. :)

  3. This is really cool! Nature is so facinating! I have seen something like that at the North Sea but they did not call it art.

    1. I like the informative plates, if not I would have never known :) And it's funny they call it "a different work of art, every single day."

  4. Science and art? Yes, please! Thanks for translating the sign, I am a sucker for those educational plaques!

    Looks like a lovely adventure, as always!

    Hope you're doing well, friend!

    1. I wish I could take credit, but I have actually just written the English translation that was already on the signs haha! Thank you anyway, Patty, I am very well and I hope the same for you!

  5. I love the idea, the design.. everything. It is indeed a piece of art from both sides.

    The human brain is very powerful. We usually tend to disregard the power of our brain.


    1. No doubt the human brain is very powerful, both for good and bad. And thank you very much, I am enjoying!

  6. Wow!! The natural wonders of the ocean and its beautiful living art. Sometimes it takes a sign to point out what is around us. It's nice to be reminded of the grandeur of our surroundings.
    Is there an Alcazaba around there somewhere? There's something special about a vista from an ancient fortification.
    What an enviable life ... beauty, art, history, culture and chocolate! You deserve it.
    Thanks for sharing. Takes me back to days of "tapas y cañas" at El Pimpi and Eroski icecream cones in the freezer. ... nice!

  7. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
    life sciences