Red Sand From Sahara Makes Russians Ski On Sand Dunes

ZoominTVScienceTechnology Published March 27, 2018 643 Plays

Rumble Don't adjust your TV set, we have not taken over your color adjustment. This isn't a Warren Miller documentary. This is an amateur video from Mars...er, sorry, Russia. What's going on here is red hued sand blowing north from the Sahara Desert in Africa has decided to decorate the white snows of Sochi. Sochi was the location of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It looks just like a scene on Mars, except for the skiers, of course. They're earthlings.

The phenomenon happens about once every five years, so the Russians are no strangers to life on Mars. This particular event happened in March, 2018, and was widely reported from multiple news sources, so we have no reason to doubt it. The dust even tinted the sky, and skiers had to wear goggles. Skiers reported that “the wind is really wild,” which probably explains how the sand got there to begin with.

Anybody with skiing experience would do a double take. Not only is skiing on red snow not normal, but subjecting your skis to sand sounds like a horrible idea. It can't be good for your skis; imagine skiing on sand paper. This is an occasion when you break out your old boards, the ones you normally use for spring skiing, when you know you're going to be skating over patches of mud. If you do have expandable skis, poles, and goggles, then Mars Day could be a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

Not everything about skiingi is simply going down a mountain as fast as you can. Skiing is a nature event, and sometimes you want to take the long way down. We're seeing a lot of powder here, too! Wish we could say “white powder”, but we know it's not. And what about those barefoot kids being pulled in tubes? Is that a clue as to temperature? Because they seem well bundled up, otherwise.

How many people around the world can say they've skied on Mars? Serious tourist market opportunities exist, if only the Russians could predict it ahead of time. Of course, with all that sand I would hope the Russians are covering their mouths and noses. Skis aren't the only thing that could be hurt from the abrasion of red sand from the Sahara. It can't be very good for your throat and lungs, either. A good shower is in order after you've been outside, and a hose down of all your outdoor equipment.

The only people unhappy about “Mars Day” in Russia are the Saharans.

“We want our sand back!” demanded several dignitaries from north Africa. “Our dunes are dying.”

OK, nobody really said that. We can't verify reports of angry Saharans planning a sand recovery raid on Russia. But it is true the Sahara desert gives away a lot of sand to other places in the world. Sand blowing into the atmosphere out of West Africa is a determining factor in whether hurricanes will be strong or weak. A lot of sand in the air means weaker hurricanes in the Americas

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