In the following months, it’s anticipated that a 5,000-mile seaweed belt in the Atlantic Ocean will wash up on beaches in the Caribbean, South Florida, and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
Instead of one continuous blob of sargassum, the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt biomass, which stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico, is composed of sporadic patches of seaweed on the open ocean floor.
Although not unusual, satellite photographs in February revealed an earlier start than usual for such a sizable accumulation in the open ocean.
Sargassum, thick, brown algae that cover beaches after washing ashore and emit a strong odor as it decomposes, is an annoyance because it traps people and animals who walk into it.
Cleaning the debris off beaches may be a 24-hour process for hotels and resorts.