Somebody Get the Mediterranean a Tissue!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Photo by M. Cornello, via National GeographicPhoto by M. Cornello, via National Geographic

Photo by M. Cornello, via National Geographic

Right now, even as you read this, the giant, mucus-like sea blobs are taking over the Mediterranean Sea. Though they may look like something Steve McQueen should be fighting, or like they should be flying around an old New York City hotel and sliming Bill Murray, they are disgustingly real, and may pose a very real danger.

Yes, it seems that these blobs, called “mucilages,” which were first discovered 280 years ago, are composed of many organisms, both living and dead, and harbor bacteria and viruses that are potentially harmful to humans. The blobs can be relatively small, but can manifest as sheets up to 124 miles long!

According to the National Geographic article in which I read about the giant sea-snot, the mucilages have been increasing in number and lasting longer in the past few decades as sea temperatures have risen. So far, they’re primarily found in the Mediterranean, but there is some evidence that they are spreading elsewhere, and may find their way to the North Sea and Australia in the not-too-distant future.

The article includes a video about the blobs, which I highly recommend watching, and showing to your kids — because what kid wouldn’t like being grossed out by giant sea boogers? Unless you have a strong stomach, though, you may not want to watch it while eating your lunch.

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