The Leviathan Approaching Florida

https// > A large pile of sargassum on the beach.

By Armando Medina, Staff Writer

       An enormous beast 5000 miles long and 10 million tons heavy is heading toward the coast of Florida, and its name is sargassum. 

 What is Sargassum? 

     According to an article posted on the website for channel 9 on Brevard County titled “What is sargassum, the 5,000-mile-long mat of seaweed heading toward Florida?”, sargassum is a type of seaweed that floats across the surface of oceans and gulfs. This kind of seaweed tends to clump together in large bundles. Usually this serves as an important habitat for some kinds of sea life. Since it has no roots keeping it in place, it can end up on beaches which can end up as problem for beach-goers 

 How do people feel about this? 

     Senior Elliot Fernandez says that his family tries to go the beach at least once a month. He says that he usually didn’t pay any attention to the seaweed ,but he has noticed that the piles of it are getting larger. 

    Junior Gladys Hernandez, says “I have recently started going out to the beach and I haven’t been able to get that smell out of my head”. She says that if it doesn’t get cleaned up soon, she may just stop going.  

 What is a Sargassum Belt? 

      A sargassum belt is a a very large clump of the seaweed. The one currently headed for Florida is about 5000 miles wide according to’s ,”A 5000-mile seaweed belt is headed toward the coast of Florida”. It is assumed that it will wash up onto beaches in the coming months exacerbating the already increased amount of sargassum that currently covers our beaches. 

 Is it harmful to us?  

      While not overtly dangerous to humans, sargassum can prove to be a great problem for the environment and anyone who uses the beaches. When sargassum lands on beaches it begins to decay and releases a smell similar to rotten eggs. A large amount of sargassum piling up on beaches can be very costly to any businesses that have to clean it up. To the hotel workers that have to clean up the massive amount of sargassum for hours, it can be dangerous due to the ammonium that is released by the sargassum decomposing. 

 Can we do anything about this? 

      A cleanup effort from either the community or the government would be able to help clear up this build up of sargassum on our beaches and shores. According to, the country of Barbados has been dealing with a lot of sargassum, and they have devoted a fleet of dump trucks to help clear it from their beaches.  

5 Facts about Sargassum  

This year has had the largest sargassum bloom in history. 

In total the sargassum belt is about 10 million tons.  

This belt is about 5000 miles wide.  

It has a foul smell due to it decomposing when it washes up on shores.  

Sargassum doesn’t travel in a large line but in large clumps the size of islands.