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Rare algae turns Sydney sea to the colour of tomato soup.

Summary: The Noctiluca algae can cause rashes on human skin and is noxious.

A rare form of algae has turned the sea along parts of the east coast of Australia the colour of tomato soup.

Several beaches in Sydney, including Bondi, have been hit by a wave of red algae and were closed on Wednesday.

Local media said the Noctiluca algae can cause a rash on sensitive skin and is considered noxious as it depletes oxygen levels in the water and can kill fish.

Surfers first spotted the algae just after dawn at Bondi, with the number of sightings spreading throughout the morning - stretching from Wamberal on the Central Coast to Cronulla Beach in the city's south.

The algae bloom was probably caused by a sudden rise in water temperature and humidity, bringing nutrients from the bottom of the ocean up to the surface, experts say.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 28, 2012
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