Surfing Sargassum in Barbados

by Carolyn Sotka

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Surfing sargassum post storm in Barbados. Photo from Barbados Today, May 30 2015.

Several times a year depending on the season, currents and storms – masses of the seaweed sargassum are broken up from the Sargasso Sea and brought close to shore. These floating islands of sargassum are never anchored, unlike most algae, allowing the seaweed to drift at the ocean surface due to their distinctive gas-filled, berry-size floats.

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The Sargasso Sea. Image from National Geographic.

The same phenomenon happens throughout the Caribbean and land masses that are near the Sargasso Sea, which is located entirely within the Atlantic Ocean and the only sea without a land boundary. Known as the golden floating rainforest of the Atlantic ocean, several international pacts aim to protect the Sargasso Sea and these unique floating islands that support a huge diversity of marine life. – CS

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