Mats of free-floating sargassum, a common seaweed found in the Sargasso Sea, provide shelter and habitat to many animals. Image credit: University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.
The Sargasso Sea is a vast patch of ocean named for a genus of free-floating seaweed called Sargassum. While there are many different types of algae found floating in the ocean all around world, the Sargasso Sea is unique in that it harbors species of sargassum that are 'holopelagi' - this means that the algae not only freely floats around the ocean, but it reproduces vegetatively on the high seas. Other seaweeds reproduce and begin life on the floor of the ocean.
Sargassum provides a home to an amazing variety of marine species. Turtles use sargassum mats as nurseries where hatchlings have food and shelter. Sargassum also provides essential habitat for marine species,such as shrimp, crab, and fish, that have adapted specifically to this floating algae. The Sargasso Sea is a spawning site for threatened and endangered eels, as well as white marlin, porbeagle shark, and dolphinfish. Humpback whales annually migrate through the Sargasso Sea. Commercial fish, such as tuna, and birds also migrate through the Sargasso Sea and depend on it for food.
While all other seas in the world are defined at least in part by land boundaries, the Sargasso Sea is defined only by ocean currents. It lies within the Northern Atlantic Subtropical Gyre. The Gulf Stream establishes the Sargasso Sea's western boundary, while the Sea is further defined to the north by the North Atlantic Current, to the east by the Canary Current, and to the south by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. Since this area is defined by boundary currents, its borders are dynamic, correlating roughly with the Azores High Pressure Center for any particular season.
Meet The Seaweed Choking The Beauty Out Of The Caribbean
It's brown, smells like rotten eggs and is a breeding ground for fleas. Welcome to the stinky Caribbean, choked by record amounts of seaweed.
Huge quantities of brown sargassum seaweed are burying the usually pristine beaches and coves of the Caribbean, The Associated Press reports. Tourists have canceled trips, and some lawmakers in Tobago have reportedly called the seaweed a "natural disaster."
Sargassum grows and floats in an area of the Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea. Sargassum mats are nurseries for sea turtles, and provide habitats for many marine creatures, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
When the seaweed washes ashore, the little creatures living inside it die, creating a putrid stink. Sand fleas breed in the piles, some of which are up to 10 feet tall.
It's unclear why there's so much sargassum this year. Researchers have suggested that rising ocean temperatures and increased fertilizer runoff may be factors.
Removing the malodorous mounds is a challenge. Tractors and heavy machinery can do the job, but they also remove s.... And then there's the matter of disposing of the tons of seaweed.
For now, the sargassum is piling ever higher. Check out the pictures below.
A woman inspects large quantities of seaweed piling up on the beach in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, Mexico, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The seaweed invasion, which appears to have hit most of the Caribbean this year, is generally considered a nuisance and has prompted some hotel cancellations from tourists but scientists consider washed-up seaweed an important part of the coastal eco-system and plays a role in beach nourishment although some scientists have also associated the large quantities of seaweed this year in the Caribbean region with higher than normal temperatures and low winds, both of which influence ocean currents, and they draw links to global climate change.
Large quantities of seaweed lays ashore at the âPlaya Los Machosâ beach, in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
An old abandoned sail boat sits partially sunk in a heavily seaweed covered beach in the east coast town of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
Large quantities of seaweed blanket the beach in the east coast "Playa Los Machos" in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
Birds are seen on top of a concrete beam covered with heavy seaweed in the east coast "Playa Los Machos" in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
A white-cheeked pintail duck stands over a heavily seaweed covered beach in the east coast town of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
Children play as their mother keeps an eye on them at a beach heavily covered with seaweed in the east coast town of Humacao, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
Large quantities of seaweed blanket the beach in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, Mexico, Wednesday, July 15, 2015.
ZetaTalk about the affect the Earth wobble has on ocean currents
The wobble may swing in such a way that one part of the globe is unseasonably warm while another is unseasonably cool on the same day. Then this may switch about. The wobble does that. It pushes this away while pulling that forward. It tilts horizontally, toasting this quarter of the globe facing the Sun more than another. The wobble has become unpredictable on a day to day basis, for mankind. If in opposition, the situation that occurred this past summer might return. If the globe tries to align in an end to end manner with Planet X, the Northern Hemisphere will freeze for a time. And such situations may last a day or last for weeks. And through all of this, the wobble is affecting ocean currents. They will surge, running up a coastline further than expected, or swirl and turn upon themselves, delimiting their effect. This likewise is unpredictable, long term, and we again decline to be a day-to-day weather forecaster. If the currents are affected by the wobble, then the coastlines they protect from heat or cold will likewise be affected.
ZetaTalk explains how the daily Earth wobble pushed Pacific plant life into the Arctic.
This is another effect of the daily Earth wobble, as was the blob of algae found floating in the Arctic in 2009. If the tides can bring Fukushima tsunami debris across the Pacific to the West Coast of America, tides can push Pacific plant life into the Arctic. But what is astonishing about this new discovery is that it happened at all, because there are no tides that would move in that direction sufficiently. The tides are circular, rolling up off the Equator during the Earth’s rotation and then circling round to the East thence back down to the Equator - the Coriolis Effect. For the Artic, this places tides from the Pacific up along Japan thence curling back down along the West Coast of the Americas, not forced into the Arctic through the Bering Straits.
The daily Earth wobble, which has become steadily more forceful, puts the globe in an up/down posture, tilting the magnetic N Pole away when the Sun is over the Pacific, and allowing the N Pole to bounce back down later, as a reaction. This N/S pumping action brings the waters of the Pacific, and whatever it may be carrying, into the Arctic. Until the cover-up over the presence of Planet X has been broken, so the daily Earth wobble can be addressed, such occurrences will remain a mystery. Any matter potentially pointing to the presence of Planet X is a forbidden topic!