Great news for fans of seaweed that collects on beaches in colossal heaps, and stings people’s eyes, nostrils, and throats with a stench like rotten eggs(Opens in a new tab): mass quantities of the algae known as sargassum are once again accumulating on Florida’s shorelines. And there’s reason to suspect that human-caused environmental havoc may be to blame.
In fact, in live views of Florida’s 2023 spring break festivities, you can watch the sargassum pile up in real time. Below, you can see part of a miles-long streak of sargassum running down Fort Lauderdale Beach. If you tune into this livecam early in the morning, you can watch attendants drive farm equipment over it, apparently to break it up and make it more manageable, since there’s clearly too much to remove.
Yes, these sargassum accumulations are new
This didn’t used to happen.
Historically, sargassum was known to float in giant brown rafts in a section of the North Atlantic named the Sargasso Sea in …