Sea Foam is quite a sight when it’s at its height – and it happens fairly often here on the Fylde Coast.
What is Sea Foam?
Decaying algae in the sea water acts like a gel and allows it to hold bubbles of air when it’s whipped up by the waves and strong winds.
The bubbles mount up in huge numbers and create a froth against the edge of the tideline. The strip gets thicker and bigger and the froth starts blowing about. Much as you can do with the bubbles in your kitchen sink if you use too much washing up liquid!
The froth blows about like snowballs and mounts up on the promenade, paths and road, and can reach several feet in depth.
You might already know that seaweed is a thickening agent in food, usually to replace animal based gelatine.
Here’s the science bit: Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They’re widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.
The foam has been tested by the Environment Agency and it doesn’t contain any synthetic detergents or foaming agents.
Where are you most likely to see Sea Foam?
There are various spots along the Fylde Coast where you will see this snowy looking phenomenon.
Cleveleys is one place which particularly suffers with sea foam. We say ‘suffers’ because once dry it’s awful to clean off! The froth carries salt and sand in suspension with it, and it dries to leave a beige splot. Residents expect a clean-up of windows, cars and houses afterwards. Beware that if you walk in it you will wind up with all your clothes filthy and needing washing!!
You’ll also see displays of the white stuff at central promenade and south shore at Blackpool, when the weather conditions are suitable.
Watch the Sea Foam Blow!
These clips of the sea foam were taken on Friday 13 November 2015
This video was just before high tide at noon…
and this one just after high tide at about 1.30pm –
The best place to see the Sea Foam
Is probably online! Have a look at these photos, follow this link to more about sea foam on Visit Cleveleys. Watch everyone’s photos on social media and stay warm and dry!
While you’re here…
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