Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Foul-smelling potato sponges litter U.S. east coast as mystery of baseball-sized blobs is finally solved - 14th Sept 2011

Residents along the U.S. east coast have been puzzled for days by a foul-smelling reminder of Hurricane Irene that has floated to American shores.

But they can finally rest at ease.

Mysterious gray blobs littering the coastline residents feared were a health hazard are simply dying potato sponges, according to researchers - simple invertebrates ripped from their habitats on the seafloor.

Irene barrelled through the lower Chesapeake Bay three weeks ago with sustained winds exceeding 70mph - littering the area with mysterious baseball-sized masses.

Emmett Duffy, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, told the Daily Press the static water-filtering organisms do not present a health hazard.

However, residents may not want to get too close - the floating masses emit a deathly rotten smell when they die. Read More