Such scenes could be observed at the end of August 2007 in New South Wales in the south-east of Australia. That day, the Pacific Ocean looked like someone poured tons of coffee and cream into it, and then turned on a giant blender and thoroughly whipped it all up. Suddenly, the coastline north of Sydney turned into something unimaginable. The foam engulfed the entire shore and half of the neighboring buildings, including the local rescue point, reached the surfers’ club, and nature continued its outlandish show. One minute a group of surfers were waiting for a suitable wave, and the next moment they were all in a giant bubble bath.
But what did happen, “why did the ocean turn into “coffee with cream”? Scientists believe that the foam originated due to biological impurities in ocean water – such as plankton and small dead plants. During the storm, all this was “stirred up” by powerful currents. Air bubbles, sticking to each other, are picked up by the current, and it carries them under the surface of the water to the leeward shore. As the wave begins to form on the surface, the movement of the water causes the bubbles to circulate and float up, where, gathering together, they become foam. Foam rushes to the shore on the crest of a wave until it breaks, throwing foam into the air. The more powerful the whirlpool, the more foam is created on the surface and the lighter, weightless it becomes.
In this case, storms off the coast of New South Wales and Queensland created a huge disturbance in the ocean, capturing layers of water where there were especially many impurities, due to which air bubbles are formed. The sight, of course, is amazing, and many onlookers on the beaches were delighted.
John Dengate from the Environmental Service of New South Wales explained that this phenomenon is especially characteristic of large natural reservoirs, where plankton and other marine trifles are literally ground to powder by storms on rocks and rocks. It turns out a suspension of the smallest particles of protein, enveloping air bubbles. Foam is formed when the surface tension of water weakens for one reason or another. Water, as is known, has a very strong surface tension, and a film of tightly fitted molecules creates a reliable boundary between water and air. But the presence of biological substances softens the water, and the surface film breaks into fragments. Add to this a stormy wind and – “the process has started.”
It is quite curious to observe the process of foam formation, when cyclones and anticyclones rotate in it at the same time, somewhere all this rises, and somewhere it falls off, forming foam mountains, hollows, fjords, etc. Such a spectacle is remembered for a long time.
But in England, in the fishing town of Whitby, something similar happened a few years ago, and even in the middle of winter. The local people should not be surprised, because those who live by the sea know that the crests of storm waves sometimes bring a lot of foam to the shore. But to literally cover and fill up all the streets with it, especially those closer to the harbor – even local fishermen will not remember this. Although, of course, the North Sea can be very choppy and harsh. And then she went on such a rampage, as if she decided to embellish, whitewash the fishing town. And it seems to have succeeded.
Brought by each successive wave of the surf, the foam crept and crept into the streets of the city, freezing into something like ice cream on the move. When residents of other districts of the city heard about such a curiosity, they rushed to the shore to look at the “culinary” abilities of the sea. However, it turned out not to be as pleasant and convenient as it was unusual: vehicles got stuck, pedestrians slid and fell. In other words, the phenomenon has made normal life in the city very difficult. But those who had cameras at hand did not waste time in vain. And thanks to them, we can also look at the “snow” of sea foam that wrapped the English coast on January 29, 2003. And who really was absolutely delighted, so it’s the kids. She frolicked in the foam just like our kids in the snow.
It is impossible not to agree that the sea foam covering the streets is a kind of exotic. But at the same time it is much better than floods. Or than blocks of ice sometimes falling from the sky. But this has happened, and more than once…