Florida Coasts Are Affected By Something Unexpected


Scientists have just discovered the largest seaweed bloom in the entire world, and it seems that it’s laying on Florida’s coasts.

Researchers from the University of South Florida have found the seaweed might become a part of the new normal, and this could cause massive trouble for the marine life and humans as well.

“We have discovered there was a huge amount of sargassum over the central Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico,” according to Mengqiu Wang, a post-doctoral researcher at USF who worked on the study.

It seems that this seaweed belt is about 5.500 miles long and it weighs about 20 million tons!

Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt

The seaweed belt is called the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt. Its growth has been reportedly tracked using satellite images from 2011 to 2018.

“Sargassum in open water is actually a good thing. It’s associated with great ecological values by providing essential habitat and refuge to marine life like the sea turtles,” according to Wang.

Smaller amounts of seaweed are beneficial, but larger sections such as this one mentioned above can kill coral reefs and seagrass, according to Wang as cited by Fox 13 News.

Another horrible thing worth mentioning is that the seaweed is washing up on the beaches along the Florida east coast, and it smells like rotten eggs according to the website mentioned above.

“People can have breathing problems. For people that have asthma that can cause severe health problems,” she said.

It also seems that it can impact livelihoods.

“It can also be affecting the fisheries, and it’s actually happening in a lot of the Caribbean islands,” Wang said.

A potential reason for the forming of such seaweed

It seems that a potential reason for which this massive belt of seaweed has formed here is the deforestation in the Amazon.

“People cutting down trees and also the fertilizer consumption, all of those human-induced factors leads to more nutrient supply into the open ocean, which eventually stimulates the sargassum growth,” according to Wang.


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