Vast swaths of sea foam appeared in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, on Friday, forcing the closure of nearby beaches.
More than one kilometer of the coast adjacent to the neighborhoods of Puerto México, Petroquímica and Playa Sol was shut off to visitors. The area borders a giant petrochemical industrial park where Pemex and its subsidiaries’ plants operate.
Civil Protection meteorological expert Saúl Miranda said the phenomenon didn’t present any danger. “This type of phenomenon is usually sporadic and short in duration, and generally doesn’t represent any risk to bathers,” he said.
Authorities took samples of the water to investigate the origin of the foam which was reported not to give off any unpleasant chemical odors.
The 20-centimeter-high foam, which resembled snow, attracted the attention of passersby who approached it to take photos.
One social media user, Enrique Burgos, posed for selfies. “The truth is, it looked fantastic,” he wrote.
Sea foam is a worldwide phenomenon that can arrive suddenly on beaches without warning. It can be caused by the disintegration of algae cells which release a substance that when moved by the wind and waves takes a foam like form.
The effect can be exacerbated by water temperatures, and turbulent weather conditions.