Dead Fish Fill 2016 Olympic Rowing Lake

Oh no, that smell

Mar 15, 2013
Outside Magazine

The Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, due to host the rowing events of the 2016 Summer Olympics, was filled with dead fish earlier this week. To be exact: it was filled with 86 tons of dead fish.

The lagoon, which sits below the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, has hosted rowing events in the past (see: the 2007 Pan-Am Games), but it has also hosted other mass fish die-offs (see: 2000, 2009). And it doesn’t seem—ruling out bio-engineering or the use of a time machine—that there’s any way to prevent this from happening again:

According to Mr Moscatelli, the presence of sewage in the lake was due to problems with the lake’s outlet into the Atlantic sea, the canal of Jardim de Allah, which then caused the phenomenon, called efflorescence. Algae expert Mariângela Menezes said that samples of more than 400 per milliliter of the culprit micro-organisms were collected during the days leading up to the disaster, far above what would normally be expected.

From USA Today:

It took 100 municipal workers 48 hours to clean up the mess, which actually sounds quite impressive when you look at the scope of the decay.

Yes, go look at that scope. You can smell it through your computer.