Overuse of the agricultural fertilizer phosphorus has led to pollution of lakes, rivers and streams, in addition to the potential shortage of the chemical element worldwide. Number 15 on the periodic table, phosphorus was discovered in 1669 and found to glow in the dark. This may explain some of bright colors that can be seen in algal growth stemming from phosphoric pollution.release. The caption for the photo posted above and another algae photo can be seen here.
Photo credit: UW-Madison Communications, Bryce Richter