Seaweed masses assault Caribbean islands

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Science  15 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6394, pp. 1157-1158
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6394.1157

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In 2011, massive rafts of Sargassum—a brown seaweed—washed up on beaches across the Caribbean, trapping sea turtles and filling the air with the stench of rotting eggs. The deluge was the first of its kind, but since then it has become a regular phenomenon. At first, scientists thought the seaweed drifted down from the North Atlantic's Sargasso Sea, where most Sargassum is found. But satellite imagery and data on ocean currents told a different story, revealing a new source in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Now, scientists are scrambling to figure out what has caused the mysterious seaweed blooms.