DEVELOPING: 5,000-Mile-Wide Seaweed Blob Heads Toward Florida

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NASA

A colossal amount of sargassum seaweed is en route to Florida and other Gulf of Mexico coastlines, posing a threat to tourism by leaving pungent and potentially hazardous piles on beaches.

Sargassum is a type of seaweed that has historically formed extensive blooms in the Atlantic Ocean, and researchers have been monitoring massive accumulations since 2011. This year’s sargassum mass could be the most extensive on record, stretching over 5,000 miles from Africa’s coast to the Gulf of Mexico.

The seaweed is presently heading west and is set to traverse the Caribbean before reaching the Gulf of Mexico during the summer.

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