The media, both social and mainstream, has been off n’ poppin’ lately regarding southwest Florida’s devastating “red tide”.

Red tide being a full on apocalyptic bloom of red algae (Karenia brevis).

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the ocean isn’t supposed to be red.  Photo Credit to Miriam Godfrey

What makes this red tide so apocalyptic?  Let me break it down for you…

It Is Engulfing Florida’s Entire Southwest Coast

That swath of red is a south of Tampa and down.  That is a lot of humans that are exposed to this red menace  Photo Credit:  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Yeah, but who cares if the ocean has an algae bloom?  People don’t live in the ocean…Do they?

In most states people don’t live in the ocean, but you can never rule anything that is weird out when it comes to Florida.  So, maybe.

Anyway, the red tide does bring some health impacts to humans.  Even Floridians?  Yes, even Floridians…

Contact with red tide can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.  You probably shouldn’t put it in your mouth…or other openings.  Just saying.

Now here is where it gets interesting…

Eating red tide tainted seafood, particularly shellfish, is the real danger to humans.  Red tide produces a toxin that accumulates in tainted seafood.  That toxin impacts the human gastrointestinal and neurological systems.

Think about that the next time you are in Florida and you are all greased-up wearing cut-off jean-shorts sucking down mussels with some fat dude named Herky.  Then, think about your life choices.  How did it come to this??

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The Red Tide Is Wholesale Massacring Sea Life

Human Floridians might be able to escape the red tide, but the sea life is out there stewing in it…breathing it in.

Just to be clear, there is no stew.

If the red tide is toxic to you and Herky imagine what it is doing to the sea life.  Oh, you don’t have to imagine what it is doing to the sea life because here are some ghastly images on the subject.

First up, fish kills by the thousands Credit Ben Depp
Next up, sea turtles.  Nooo, not sea turtles!!!!!  Yes, sea turtles  Photo Credit Andrew West / The News-Press
Oh, but the horrors don’t stop there.  Endangered manatees are rolling snake-eyes too.  Manatees are so nice though!  They don’t deserve to be treated like this.  Boca Grande Photo Credit: Fox 4 News

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What The Hell Is Causing This Apocalyptic Red Algae Bloom?

No one seems to know for sure.

Red algae is a natural part of the ocean.  Occasionally, it does bloom, but not to this degree.

When you see nature going buck-wild the first thing to consider is that is man the cause?  The answer is almost always yes.  Why?  Because we jack things up, that is why.  Tell a friend!

Although, it has been hard for scientists and idiot bloggers like me to definitely arrive at a human derived smoking gun.  The best hypothesis is that fertilizer runoff is causing the blooms to go apocalyptic.

Maybe it is a mix of both causing the blooms.  I’d bet my reputation as an idiot blogger on it!

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If you are interested in keeping your finger on the red tide status then you should put down those tainted mussels, tell Herky’s parole office were he is, and checkout Florida’s Red Tide Status.

Until next time.

Your friend,

Herkulese H. Hasenfeffer