A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise. King of the Monsters was released on 2019. Godzilla could look scary on the big screen, but today we are talking about a monster way more destructive, this one is 340 miles in diameter, and only 620 miles east of the coast of Mexico’s State of Quintana Roo…
A hummungus mass of sargassum algae has been spotted from space by NASA satellites, heading toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; and of course this means disaster for Mexico’s Caribbean coast tourism industry.
The seaweed island that is about the size of Jamaica, it’s predicted to spread from Cancun all the way down to Belize and according to scientists, it could cause catastrophic damage to the environment.
But our “Godzilla” is just a very small part of the 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles) long seaweed bloom sighted in the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches literally “across the Atlantic” (from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico), and is estimated to weigh 18 billion kilograms.
Specialists say the unusual amount of sargasso is the result of deforestation in the Amazon and the intensive use of fertilizers which have fed nitrogen into the oceans. The nitrogen, coupled with warmer oceans, has boosted the seaweed’s growth. Besides, the change of sea currents due to climate change also favors its proliferation.
This is evidence that human activity caused the birth of “Godzilla” (just as in the movie! What a coincidence…).
Environmentalists warn that the algae is a total disaster for the area’s biodiversity.
The State Secretary of the Environment, Semarnat, Conabio, Conanp, the Mexican Navy and the National Institute of Climate Change, they are all just overwhelmed by the magnitude of this situation.
The federal government must acquire special boats to collect sargassum in the open sea, which would avoid problems of beach erosion and cumulative environmental damage along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
What to do with all that seaweed?
Sargasso is used in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Sargassum species are tropical and sub-tropical brown macroalgae (seaweed) of shallow marine meadow.
These are nutritious and rich source of bioactive compounds such as vitamins, carotenoids, dietary fibers, proteins, and minerals. Also, many biologically active compounds like terpenoids, flavonoids, sterols, sulfated polysaccharides, polyphenols, sargaquinoic acids, sargachromenol, pheophytine have been isolated from different Sargassum species.
In fact, the first house entirely made of Sargassum was built by a Mexican inventor in Quintana Roo. That proves that sargasso can be used as construction material.
There’s even a Mexican company that manufactures shoes using sargasso!
Godzilla is just about to hit the coast of Quintana Roo.
High density is expected for Akumal, Bahía Príncipe, Tulum, Boca Paila, Punta Allen, Vigía Chico, Cabo Chinchorro, Punta Herrero, Uvero, Mahahual, Xcalak and Canal de Zaragoza.
by Alejandro Azcarate for The Yucatan Times.
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