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Eager to learn more...seaweed

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Sea Star, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Sea Star

    Sea Star Beach Lover

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    Kurt - Just what is "sargassum grass"? We have seen various types of seaweed in Seagrove and don't know what any of it is. Thanks!! :blink: :idontno:
     
  2. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    Re: Eager to learn more...

    Good question! Is sargassum the spinachy stuff that smells to high heaven? How many kinds of seaweed does the area get and what are conditions that cause them to come in? I just love this message board...I get to learn new info to dazzle my family!
     
  3. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Re: Eager to learn more...

    Off the coast of the United States, just south of Bermuda is the Sargasso Sea. This sea is the size of 2/3 of the United States. There, free-floating algae abounds. It is estimated that 7 million tons of live sargassum live in the sea! Sargassum reproduces by asexual means; a piece breaks off and becomes a separate plant.

    Not surprisingly, this seaweed community supports a diverse ecosystem. Organisms found in the sea include shrimps, crabs, worms and fish. The sargassumfish is a fascinating creature that has adapted in a very specific and interesting way to live among the sargassum weeds.

    Washed up on the beaches of SoWal, it creates a very effective means of trapping and holding sand that is deposited on the shore.

    If you go offshore, especially during calm weather, you can find huge rafts of this plant. Mariners in the Atlantic who were caught in the "Doldrums", or zones of low winds, commonly found themselves surrounded by Sargassum. These plants have gas-filled balls which you can see in the picture that keep the plant afloat.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
  4. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    I don't think that is a pic of the stinky stuff! It was a darker green. Thanks for the info!
     
  5. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    Wow, very interesting. Is there more on beach than usual?
     
  6. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    There seems to be a lot more this year, no doubt from the storms. We got no June Grass this year which is the stuff that's more like spinach.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
  7. Snapper Grabber

    Snapper Grabber Beach Comber

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    Kurt, your knowledge about the environment of the Gulf is very impressive. Does it come from being a SoWal native? You seem to know everything!
     
  8. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    :oops: I've been here awhile but I'm not a native. SoWal years are about the same as dog years. :lol:
     
  9. Sea Star

    Sea Star Beach Lover

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    Thanks, Kurt. I have seen the sargassum, just didn't know what it was. The air chambers remind me of the water hyacinths we have in our pond. The leaves of the plant grow from a large bubble-like part of the plant that keeps it afloat. Where do the little sticks with the knots on the ends come from? We find those on the beach a lot, and they are really quite interesting.
     
  10. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    If I'm thinking about what you're describing, they are a type of reed found in South Florida and Mexico. We get a lot of stuff that washes up from those parts that isn't native. Some of it very unusual, especially after storms.
     
  11. wintersbk

    wintersbk Beach Fanatic

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    This little guy really blends in! The Sargassum Fish.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
  12. amylouky

    amylouky Beach Lover

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    Wow.. so does this mean I can swim in the Gulf when I come down without coming out looking like Swamp Thing?
    That would be wonderful! Sargassum I don't mind at all.. but that clingy stuff.. blech.
     
  13. FoX

    FoX Beach Fanatic

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    I'm a beachcomber and picking up garbage along the way is satisfying and sometimes rewarding. After one storm many years ago, a friend pulled a piece of plastic out of a pile of seaweed and it was a ziploc with about $20,000 worth of Colombian pesos in it. :shock:
     
  14. BeachDreamer

    BeachDreamer Beach Fanatic

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    That's amazing Fox! So what happened then? :blink:
     
  15. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    sargassum weed is good to eat and is really good for you - the balls themselves are the best as a salad garnish - wash 10 or so 'air bb's' per salad serving in fresh water but watch out for the ones with barnacles or calcite netting on them as those can be yechhy, crunchy and oystery at best. also watch out for little crabs on the plants you harvest and leave them behind. best is just to take the balls and leave the rest. and dont eat tons of it since they are from south of the border and there is no mercury pollution control down there

    i bet i know what the money in the ziplock bag was for.

    good to be home but lots of work to catch up on.
     
  16. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    That's great info - I will be trying some tomorrow!
     
  17. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    The yecchy green stuff is probably Ulva, or sea lettuce. Just nasty. Makes a lot of oxygen though, in fact the green algaes produce about 90 something percent of the world's available oxygen along with the rainforests, if I remember my biology200's correctly. Not edible, unless, like a ghost crab, you have no real sense of smell or proper taste buds.
     
  18. Sea Star

    Sea Star Beach Lover

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    :blink: So Kurt, how were they? I'm not sure I want to try the air BBs.
     
  19. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I remember a time when I did not want to try eating cow meat.
     
  20. Waterman

    Waterman Beach Lover

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    Villiage Market has the BEST cow meat! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! :wub:
     

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