Venice’s Grand Canal turns fluorescent green, sparking health fears and mystery

Photo Courtesy of AP Newsroom

Venice’s renowned Grand Canal turned bright green recently, generating concerns for residents and tourists alike. Local authorities are investigating the cause, while environmental experts conduct water testing to determine the potential harm to public health. This is not the first time the canal’s waters have changed colour, with similar incidents occurring in the past.

A photograph shared by Luca Zaia, the governor of the Veneto region, showed the fluorescent green waters close to the historic Rialto Bridge on May 28. Theories behind the phenomenon have ranged from leaked fabric dye to a protest staged by environmental activists. Italian police are reviewing CCTV footage to uncover the source of the colour change, reports Khaosod.

In a similar incident in 1968, Argentinian artist García Uriburu used dye to turn the canal’s waters green during the Venice Biennale, an international arts festival, to draw attention to environmental issues. Venice started imposing a daily tourist tax in January 2023 to reduce overcrowding, with fees ranging from €3-€10, depending on the season and number of tourists. Fines for not displaying a QR code and paying the tax could reach €300.

Authorities have called an urgent meeting to discuss the origin of the green liquid, as gondoliers and locals alike speculate on the cause. Venice, a popular tourist destination, has experienced severe drought in the past, leading to low water levels in its famous canals that have prevented boat travel.

Last year in Bangkok, floods were exacerbated by large amounts of dumped garbage clogging up waterways. About five to ten tonnes of waste, including old mattresses and furniture, were pulled from canals and riverways daily. While heavy rainfall was the main cause of the flooding, poor drainage systems and bottlenecks created by the trash were also significant factors.

World News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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