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Here’s what to know about the seaweed continent that’s set to hit the Caribbean and Florida

Here’s what to know about the seaweed continent that’s set to hit the Caribbean and Florida

A huge mass of algae twice the width of the United States threatens Florida and with it the tourist season.

• Also read: A huge clump of brown algae is heading toward Florida

• Also read: Alarming red tide phenomenon in Florida: ‘It was disturbing’

Sebastien Sauvy, professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Montreal, explains everything you need to know about this continent of algae that will plague Florida in an interview with TVA Nouvelles.

Getty Images via AFP

1. This algae is called sargassum.

2. Scientists expect the Sargassum massif to hit the Florida coast in July.

Getty Images via AFP

3. This mass of brown algae, which is 8,000 km long, moves according to ocean currents.

4. Mr. Sauvé points out that these aquatic plants can pose a health hazard. It may “contain sulfur gases which are of greater concern and which may be toxic”.

The professor states that the dangers mainly threaten the people who will be called upon to move this mass and clean the beaches. For tourists, it is more of an inconvenience.

Getty Images via AFP

5. “There is supposed to be an excess of fertilizer used in agriculture. If it collects in waterways or the sea, it helps to increase the growth of this algae. What seems exceptional this year is that it happened so early,” says the expert.

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6. This algae stays on the surface because of the tiny air bubbles it forms.

TVA News screenshot

7. When they pile up on the beach, they stink because they are rotting.