By Anupum Pant
Sea foam is a fairly common occurrence. But usually when sea waves crash and get agitated, the organic matter present in the water forms a foam that is not too much in quantity. It forms and then breaks down before a lot of it gets collected. Normally, only a few thin lines of foam can be seen on the surface of the sea here and there.
However, sometimes when the conditions are totally right, the volume of foam formed can reach incredible levels. This happens when decayed algal matter washes up on the shore and the sea water gets agitated due to breaking waves.
In the past such a blanket of foam 1-3 meters high, formed in the sea, has been washed up on a couple of coastlines, where it has reached the roads and also into people’s homes. In spite of being a fascinating natural phenomenon to experience, this foam is only a trouble for the people wishing to carry on with their daily grind.
Most times it is harmless. But other times when the decayed algal matter has algal toxins, it can produce a foam that can make your skin and eyes irritated. Even mass deaths of sea creatures and birds have been seen in the past.