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Cappuccino coast phenomenon on Paphos beach (pictures)

December 13, 2018 at 11:05am

The rare ‘capuccino coast’ phenomenon was observed in a beach on Kissonerga, Paphos on Wednesday.

Members of the facebook group ‘Weather Enthusiasts of Cyprus‘ posted pictures of the phenomenon, which is also known as sea foam.

According to gohighbrow.com, it came to be known as the “Cappuccino Coast” because the frothy ocean mixture resembles the foam at the top of a cappuccino.

The rare sea foam phenomenon happens when impurities such as seaweed excretions, plant and animal material, chemicals, and salts are churned by choppy waves, creating bubbles that get trapped under water. As the bubbles are pushed to the shore they are rapidly shuffled to the surface, and their clinging together creates a soft foam.

Sea foam is a global phenomenon and it varies depending on location and the influence of surrounding environments.

The presence of sea foam in the marine environment plays a number of ecological roles including providing sources of food and creating habitat. 

It also acts as a mode of transport for both organisms and nutrients within the marine environment and, at times, into the intertidal or terrestrial environments.

Sea foam is not inherently toxic, however, it can be exposed to high concentrations of contaminants. These contaminants contribute to the formation of noxious sea foam through adsorption onto bubbles. Bubbles may burst and release toxins into the atmosphere in the form of sea spray or aerosol, or they may persist in foams. Toxins released through aerosols and breaking bubbles can be inhaled by humans or be integrated into the food web.