Sea Foam Buries Roads & Homes

A lot of sea foam has washed ashore in a small coastal Oregon village, coating homes.

One resident said she hadn’t seen anything like it in 20 years.

In a video posted online, there’s a huge amount of sea foam bubbling over the shore.  The foam is covering front yards, and blocking driveways and garages.

The foam is caused by a die-off of phytoplankton.

seafoam2

If you scoop up some water from the ocean in a clear glass and look at it closely, you’ll see it’s full of tiny particles.  Seawater contains dissolved salts, proteins, fats, dead algae and a bunch of other bits and pieces of organic matter.  Well, if you shake the glass of ocean water strong enough, small bubbles will form on the surface of the liquid.

Sea foam forms exactly this way – but on a much larger scale.  It all happens when the sea is agitated by wind and waves.  Each area, however, needs different conditions for sea foam to form.

seafoam3

Most sea foam is not harmful to humans and is often an indication of a productive ocean ecosystem.

(sources:  NOAA, Daily Mail, KATU, youtube)

 

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