Scilly’s Sparkling Seas

Last week we saw how Scilly’s fresh clean air encourages the growth of lichen, (and no doubt is beneficial to the human population too.)

But is it not just the air that is clean and unpolluted.  The sea looks like this:

You can see the sea weed growing up from the bottom; fabulous for diving, to explore shipwrecks and watch marine animals.  But why is the sea so clear?

The islands of the Scilly Isles are rather small.  The largest island, St Mary’s is only 2½ square miles (6½ square kilometres) so when it comes to flowing rivers, this is about as large as you get:

Flowing rivers are usually loaded with sediment, which they dump into the sea, but in Scilly there is only ever a trickle flowing into the sea, so the sea water remains clear.

Scilly’s waters are not always so beautifully clean.  The area is a shipwreck hotspot. The infamous Torrey Canyon oil tanker disaster of 1967 left the beaches covered in crude oil and littered with dead seabirds.  While the container ship Cita (1997) brought all manner of finds to the local beaches including trainers, baby clothes and computer mice.  Follow the links for more information about these events.