Sargassum natans Sargassum Weed

    This brown algae, which exists in vast floating masses in the Sargasso Sea of the north central Atlantic, is commonly found washed ashore on the beaches of northeast Florida following sustained easterly winds such as during northeasters and hurricanes. Although probably considered a smelly nuisance by most beach-goers, the floating mats serve as a source of food or home to a wide variety of sea life to include crabs, bryozoans, and nudibranchs. A careful examination of the beached algae will sometimes reveal some of these inhabitants still in residence.

Sargassum natans Sargassum Weed
Mayport Naval Station Beach, Duval County, Florida 9/22/2004