Seaweed masses assault Caribbean islands


Sargassum—a brown seaweed that lives in the open ocean—washed up on beaches across the Caribbean, trapping sea turtles and filling the air with the stench of rotting eggs.
Before 2011, open-ocean Sargassum was mostly found in the Sargasso Sea, a patch of the North Atlantic Ocean enclosed by ocean currents that serves as a spawning ground for eels. So when the first masses hit the Caribbean, scientists assumed they had drifted south from the Sargasso Sea. But satellite imagery and data on ocean currents told a different story.

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