Tourists planning to hit the popular beaches of Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean for some spring break fun in the sun might want to brace themselves for an unwelcome surprise.
A massive and smelly blob of seaweed known as Sargassum is heading towards Florida, and it’s likely to dampen many beach-goers’ plans.
The seaweed, which looks like enormous mounds of brown mucky macro algae, has been growing in increasing quantities, making it difficult for people to get into the water.
The popular shores of South Beach are currently only speckled with the seaweed, but that’s likely to change soon.
Scientists aren’t entirely sure what’s causing the explosive growth, but pollution from fertilizer into the Amazon and deforestation in Brazil likely play a significant role.
The seaweed belt spans roughly 5,500 miles in the ocean from West Africa all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, providing shade and shelter to marine life before it degrades offshore, leaving local governments to clean up the mess.