'Sea Snot' Is Destroying Turkey's Coasts

This thick mucus is commonly called ‘sea snot,’ and it is carpeting the Sea of Marmara in Turkey.

The sea contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural, industrial, and raw waste that flows into it. This, in addition to warming waters from climate change, has led to a boom in the phytoplankton population which creates the snot.

The mucus itself is not toxic but it provides a breeding ground for dangerous microorganisms and bacteria. It can also smother and kill coral while blanketing the water’s surface which kills fish and leads to oxygen depletion in the water.

Fishing nets have been clogged, and people are worried about how the sea snot will impact tourism. While governments are scrambling to find a way to clean up the snot, many are calling for regulations on the pollution sources.