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Swedish island in the Baltic Sea#

Swedish island in the Baltic Sea
Image courtesy of USGS., under PD
In the style of Van Goghs painting "Starry Night," massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a large Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, shown in this false-color satellite image.

Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants that form the first link in nearly all ocean food chains. Population explosions, or blooms, of phytoplankton, like the one shown here, occur when deep currents bring nutrients up to sunlit surface waters, fueling the growth and reproduction of these tiny plants.