AP: A 5,000-mile seaweed belt is headed toward Florida

Photo: Associated Press (Fair Use)

In the coming months, a 5,000-mile stretch of seaweed known as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt is expected to make its way onto the beaches of the Caribbean Sea, South Florida, and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

This biomass extends from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico, and while it consists of scattered patches of seaweed on the open sea, it is not a new phenomenon, the Associated Press reported.

However, satellite images captured in February revealed an earlier start than usual for such a significant accumulation of sargassum in the open ocean.

Once it reaches the shore, sargassum becomes a nuisance: a thick, brown algae that covers beaches, emits an unpleasant odor as it decomposes, and entangles both humans and animals who come into contact with it.

Removing the seaweed from beaches can be a constant operation for hotels and resorts, as reported by the AP.

Written by staff