IN PICS: South Indian river turns pink as far as eyes can see. Here’s why

IN PICS: South Indian river turns pink as far as eyes can see. Here’s why

KOLKATA (India) — Images of a local river near the South Indian village of Kozhikode’s Avala Pandi near Perambra has gone viral on Social media after it turned pink as far as eyes can see.

The otherwise sleepy village in Kerala, through which the narrow river passes, became a local tourist attraction after millions of brightly pink-hued Forked Fanwort flowers bloomed.

Facebook user Deepesh John, a professional videographer from Perambalur, Kannur, shared some stunning images he took from different dimensions, including one from a birds-eye view that reveals the extent of the pinkness.

IN PICS: South Indian river turns pink as far as eyes can see. Here’s why
Image courtesy of Deepesh John via Facebook

The flowers, that is reminiscent of a certain variety of water lily and lotus are an invasive species and belongs to the family of Cabomba furcata and are known locally as ‘Mullan payal’.

Several social media footages show a large extent of the river, as far as eyes can see, has turned pink, with the water nowhere to be seen in the narrow streak meandering through the village.

As per the India Times, locals are indifferent as to how or when the plant reached the river. Some of them however said they have been seeing the flowers blooming for the last couple of years, albeit in small numbers.

As per local media, the aquatic flowers started to bloom earlier last week, but not many paid attention. Starting this week, as the flowers became fully bloomed, local uploaded the images as Whatsapp status.

Gradually, the images became widespread on Whatsapp, people started to wonder where the place is and then it came into mainstream social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Of Concern

While the beauty of the pink flower has certainly staged a beautiful show for the locals and visitors alike, biologists on the other hand are worried.

Since Forked Fanwort is an invasive species, coming originally from South America, the flower has now overpowered the native aquatic plant populations.

The flower was originally used in India as aquarium adoration, but possibly a careless mistake from a local put the plants in the local stream where it thrived like any invasive species.

The long-term impact of invasive species on the environment is not known. But in short-haul, they pose threat to the ecosystem. For instance, a species called Water Hyacinths have hijacked native Indian species.

Although Hyacinths, yet another South American species can unfold spectacular views for its flowers, they are nonetheless a pain for many water bodies where they grow in incredible numbers to form thick carpets and choke other plants and animals and bar navigation.

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