[Australia] The phenomenon of cornflake seaweed is not unfamiliar to the city but the amount this season has locals astounded.
Seaweed expert Pia Winberg said it was due to a combination of timing and currents.
“It’s part of a group of seaweeds called Colpomenia and they’re actually more like little bags,” she said.
“But they’ve ended up washing ashore in droves after a reproductive cycle.”
She said you might not want to go swimming in the clouds of flakes but it would not hurt you.
“They’ll get organisms around them, small crustaceans and things eating them,” he said.
“It’s a bit like rummaging around leaves in autumn when there’s a whole lot of other stuff amongst the leaves as well.”
Dr Winberg said it presented an opportunity for people to learn to more about different seaweeds.
“They’re really not appreciated in terms of what they actually do for us in the world,” she said.
“What they could do for Australia in terms of new crops and things like that.”
While the seaweed may look like breakfast, it is not suggested anyone eat it.
Dr Winberg said time is needed to research the nutritional and chemical components.
“It’s not traditionally eaten globally,” she said.
“We have to look into the metabolites, the chemicals in that seaweed a little bit more before we recommend mixing it with milk for your morning breakfast.”
She said the cornflake seaweed will likely be eaten by sea life or washed away by the currents and will only be around for a couple of weeks at most.
Photo: Woman swims amongst golden cornflake seaweed on the Gold Coast. The golden cornflake seaweed is not uncommon on the Gold Coast but it is in much larger quantities this season.
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