The 5,000-Mile-Wide Seaweed Blob Has Made Landfall in Florida
The mass of seaweed is clumping on the shores of beaches in the state.
Well, it has finally happened folks. After weeks of speculation, the 5,000-mile-wide seaweed blob has begun to make landfall on South Florida beaches. Weighing in at an estimated 10 million pounds, the algae bloom is leaving girthy, smelly clumps of seaweed, called sargassum, along some of Florida's most popular beaches.
According to WFTV 9, globs of the seaweed have thus far been reported in Brevard County, which is home to the popular Cocoa Beach. Locals say that it seems as if there is more seaweed on the shores compared to previous years. In Pensacola, in Northern Florida along the Gulf Coast, TikTok videos show that more seaweed is arriving on the shores in that part of the state as well.
Based on available photos and videos from around Florida, the amount of seaweed arriving on most beaches doesn't seem to dramatically rival the amount seen in previous years so far. On certain beaches though, like footage captured of Marathon Beach in Florida by Fox Weather, the state's characteristic white sand beaches are covered in a thick brown gooey layer. It's definitely a high volume, and an amount that might even have the most seasoned Florida beachgoers thinking twice about spending the day out on the sand.
"It's Mother Nature," Cocoa Beach resident John Adams told WFTV 9. "It's coming in different amounts every year. It's a lot from what they're talking about, and it hasn't hit us yet, and if it hits us worse than this, wow."
Beyond the physical presence of the seaweed, the increased amounts will likely lead to an even stronger unpleasant odor. As the seaweed decays when it arrives on shore, it begins to emit a smell that is really off putting. It is often compared to rotten eggs, and as a child I was convinced seaweed was mermaid poo.
Certain cities are using heavy machinery to clear some of the largest swaths of seaweed, but as the summer travel season kicks into high gear, many people in Florida are preparing for the arrival of even more of this historically large algae bloom.
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