2 December 2014

The Day the Sea Turned to Gunk

It was as if the ocean has been turned in to a giant cup of cappuccino, a particularly frothy one at that. This display of nature’s occasional freakiness had people scratching their heads in Cape Town, South Africa.  Sea Point Beach on the outskirts of the city was transformed in to a foamy mess when the sea suddenly frothed itself into a frenzy.

Yet what caused this lather?  It seems that a variety of impurities in the seawater combined at just the right amounts and, shaken and stirred up by the powerful motion of the waves, formed bubbles. The bubbles bonded together and before long it was as if some sort of chain reaction had taken place, back in 2012. It was everywhere.

Most people could not wait to get out of the way of this creamy, creeping mass. Yet there are always a few willing to get messy or record the moment for posterity.  Perhaps if they knew the content of the foam they would not be so slow to escape it.  Sea weed secretions, chemicals, dead plants and decomposed sea life all contribute to the soapy mix.

As soon as it became too much, however, it was advisable to beat a hasty retreat! That left the sea to conquer as much dry land as possible.

Image Credit
Many thanks to Flickr User mallix who took the photographs above of this bizarre occurrence.