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The clump of sargassum seaweed is believed to be twice the width of the entire United States.

Marine biologists have been monitoring the movements of a gigantic clump of sargassum seaweed blooms out in the oceans near Florida. This particular clump of seaweed usually dwells in the oceans between the Gulf of Mexico and the African shores of the Atlantic, but for whatever reason, it seems to be drifting toward the Florida Gulf.

The clump of seaweed is estimated to be approximately 5,000 miles wide, greater than the entire width of the continental United States. While the seaweed isn’t overtly dangerous, the sheer volume of it could prove problematic for Florida’s coastal communities as chunks of it wash up on the beaches and clogs local vents. Sargassum releases a powerful chemical odor that can be extremely unpleasant for those with respiratory conditions. This is on top of existing concerns of red tide, which has made beachgoing unpleasant and unprofitable.

“It’s incredible,” Brian LaPointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, told NBC News. “What we’re seeing in the satellite imagery does not bode well for a clean beach year.”

“Even if it’s just out in coastal waters, it can block intake valves for things like power plants or desalination plants, marinas can get completely inundated and boats can’t navigate through,” added Brian Barnes, an assistant research professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. “It can really threaten critical infrastructure.”