Venice Canals Suddenly Clearer After Coronavirus Lockdown
There's no escaping it, these are truly testing times - but if there is ever a silver lining to come out of the coronavirus pandemic, it's the fact that we might be able to take stock of the effect humans have on the planet.
After we saw the visible effects of less pollution over northern Italy and China earlier this week after the countries went into lockdown, we're now seeing incredible scenes from the canals of Venice.
What are usually fairly murky waters - as you can see from the photo below which is from 2019 - they are now crystal clear in some parts.
Images taken over the last few days show fish swimming in the waters, which connect to the Adriatic Sea.
People filmed the water in Venice's canals clearing up and fish becoming visible as activities in the city were put on hold during the Covid-19 quarantine.
Real estate agent and life-long Venetian Marco Capovilla, 40, filmed several schools of tiny fish swimming under the clear water surface in the canals which were previously clouded by debris.
Marco said he 'had never seen' such clear water in the popular destination city, and added that it was a 'striking' view.
Marco said: "During these days, traffic in Venice has become almost absent.
"The city doesn't have sewers, so normally everything goes into the canals, including detergents and cosmetics.
"Thanks to the quarantine, we are experiencing a cleaner environment."
Another local resident, bank worker Martina Bettoni, 33, said: "Seeing so many fish in the canals was extremely rare before the quarantine.
"I hope we'll learn from this tragic time, and that when this is over Venice will be able to strike a balance between tourist crowds and cleanliness."
The improvement in Venice's canals comes as satellite images from the European Space Agency taken before and after Italy's Covid-19 quarantine measures show a drastic decrease in air pollution over the country, as residents have been forced to stay indoors to self-isolate.
The animated imagery, which is based on data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, shows the decline in air pollution over Italy between 1 January and 11 March 2020, specifically nitrogen dioxide emissions.
Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager Claus Zehner said: "The decline in nitrogen dioxide emissions over the Po Valley in northern Italy is particularly evident. Although there could be slight variations in the data due to cloud cover and changing weather, we are very confident that the reduction in emissions that we can see coincides with the lockdown in Italy, causing less traffic and industrial activities."
If there's one good thing that can come out of the covonavirus crisis - it's that we might now realise the positive effect we could have on mother nature if we tried.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Storytrender