The algae is called Sargassum, and scientists know it. But this year, Sargassum’s mass is the largest on record, stretching more than 5,000 miles from the African coast to the Gulf of Mexico. The depth of the “spot” reaches 15-18 meters.
The cluster is currently moving west through the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico. Algae will appear on Florida beaches in July, says Dr. Brian Lapointe, a researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
The scientist also said that this year the flowering of Sargassum started early, and the algae bloomed especially intensively from December to January. This phenomenon, he said, “will create a catastrophic problem for tourism in the Caribbean”.
Today in Barbados, the newspaper writes, local residents deployed 1,600 dump trucks to clear seaweed from beaches every day.
According to scientists, rotting sargassum is dangerous to human health because it releases hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic and can cause respiratory problems. In addition, seaweed contains arsenic in its pulp, which does not allow it to be used as a fertilizer.