Brown, Red, And Green Seaweeds

All seaweeds are photosynthetic. The best-known truly "pelagic" seaweed (pelagic means living and growing at sea, independent of land) is Sargasso weed, a prolific brown seaweed of the genus Sargassum. This lush plant covers an area of 7000 square miles near the Bermuda Triangle, with a floating layer 1-2 feet thick; modest wave action sorts it out into long even rows that resemble a carefully-planted field on land. After several days of slowly chugging through the Sargasso Sea while taking transatlantic transect vertical plankton tows, I experienced a common visual hallucination and urge to jump off the boat and walk around on the Sargasso weed as had many mariners before me. The urge was compelling. I nearly had to be restrained.

by Ryan Drum
authorsamoliver authorsamoliver
46-50, M
Jan 9, 2013