Dead Ocean Bugs Are Turning People’s Feet Black On Wells Beach
From the "Eeeww, that's so gross!" category......Folks going to Wells Beach recently, have been coming home with a little more than they showed up with.
Imagine setting your towel down, and beginning your well deserved beach day. The sun is shining, the waves are gently rolling in, and you've got nasty dirt all over your feet. Not the most uncommon occurrence. You'd likely tell yourself that it'll just come off in the shower when you get home.
Well, let's say it doesn't come off in the shower. Let's also say that no matter how hard you scrub, or how many times you wash them, the grody black stuff will still not come off. You might begin to get a bit concerned and wonder what fresh hell you stepped in at the beach. Unless you're an oceanographer. Then you look for answers.
John Lillibridge and his wife Linda Stathoplos, are both retired oceanographers, according to WABI. They'd heard about what was going on down at Wells Beach and decided to check it out for themselves. They expected to find spilled oil, or algae, or something along those lines.
You can imagine their surprise when they put some samples under a microscope and discovered the substance was actually tiny dead ocean bugs that were washing ashore onto the beach. People would basically walk through them, as it just looked a like a dark spot in the sand, and grind them up and stain their feet with the bug's former dinner.
I didn't have permission to use a photo of the actual discoloration of the feet, but if you click the link from WABI, you can see a photo of someone's feet, even after they'd spent a good amount of time trying to clean them up. It's straight-up nasty. But it'll go away eventually.
John Lillibridge summed it up this way:
It’s just a discoloration. It’s a natural substance in the body of these insects. It probably comes from some plants,” he said. “The wind is turning from the south more to the west today, and I suspect between that and the natural tide cycle, it’s just going to carry this stuff away.
So at least it sounds like it's temporary. But still.... having a bunch of dead bugs stain your feet pretty much black, and you can't clean it off, sounds like a Disney-grade horror movie to me. No one's getting hurt, but it's still kinda gross.