Here's a reminder that a lot of tiny dead microorganisms can create an absolutely gag-worthy mess. Earlier this week, the British seaside town of Cleveleys was frosted with a thick coating of oceanic foam that resembled snow, but was in all likelihood a frothing mix of deceased algae. Explains The Guardian:
Lab tests on samples collected in earlier years have found no signs of pollution. Decomposing algal matter is the prime suspect for the mysterious lather.
"It appears to be naturally occurring. When the tides and winds combine to churn dead algal matter up from the bottom of the sea, it produces this foam, which is quite dramatic," [an Environment Agency] spokeswoman said.
These foam storms hit the area once or twice annually, and researchers are analyzing this week's foam maelstrom to see if they can predict future frostings. According to tipster BlueHinter, this is "a scene right out of Doctor Who (or possibly Cthulhu's secret sex tape)." I'm going with the latter explanation, as A.) it is 2012 tomorrow; and B.) this line of reasoning allows me to use our "Geophysical Porn" tag literally.