Thursday, May 1, 2008

Freak Foam in Wales

"Cappuccino Coast: The day the Pacific was whipped up into an ocean of froth"article reprinted from the Daily Mail (link below)
By RICHARD SHEARS



Australian Foam Pacific Ocean
From the Daily Mail from September of 2007:

Foam swallowed an entire beach and half the nearby buildings, including the local lifeguards’ centre, in a freak display of nature at Yamba in New South Wales.

One minute a group of teenage surfers were waiting to catch a wave, the next they were swallowed up in a giant bubble bath. The foam was so light that they could puff it out of their hands and watch it float away.

It stretched for 30 miles out into the Pacific in a phenomenon not seen at the beach for more than three decades.

Scientists explain that the foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed. All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles. These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore.

As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam. The foam “surfs” towards shore until the wave “crashes”, tossing the foam into the air.

“It’s the same effect you get when you whip up a milk shake in a blender,” explains a marine expert. “The more powerful the swirl, the more foam you create on the surface and the lighter it becomes.”

In this case, storms off the New South Wales Coast and further north off Queensland had created a huge disturbance in the ocean, hitting a stretch of water where there was a particularly high amount of the substances which form into bubbles.


Bizarre, yes?

10 comments:

NEA said...

Bizarre? Yes. I would NOT wanna be playin in that "Foaming Poo" (impurities, including decomposed fish...)

Yuck!

egassner said...

That's insane! So basicly those people are playing in chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed...yum!

Marr Williams said...

Wow - that is incredible! Thanks for sharing. I wonder how often this happens? I mean - is it due to climate change or something that has always happened given the right conditions? Can you imagine waking up and seeing that on your beach front?

Carrie ~ Gigi said...

That doesn't seem real. You certainly find some of the most interesting stories to share!

Eat Well (was Teresa R) said...

How on earth did you come across the story? Funky monkey, though! The dead fish, plants, and chemical stuff is no worse than what most of us step in barefoot at the park, really. But, that said, i wouldn't want this foam all over my body. ;)

Candice said...

That's crazy, it's like the world's biggest foam party only with disgusting decaying animals and other yucky stuff!

Heidi said...

Eww! Those boys look like their having so much fun...little do they know what they're swimming in = P

Heather@Twin Birch said...

Wow! Can you imagine? This looks like a job for that cute guy from "Dirty Jobs". I didn't know that there is such a thing as seaweed poo. :)

LoveMichie said...

Eeeeewwww!! It looks like so much fun, like a giant bubble bath but eeewwwwww!!!!

This gives me an idea though. If I were a millionaire I'd open up a bubble bath theme park!

Pegasus Handmade Soaps said...

Yes this is very bizarre but it looks like those kids are having a blast and I wanna join in on the fun :-)