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article imageVideo: Surfers catch giant waves of foam in Australia

By Yukio Strachan     Jun 21, 2012 in Environment
Lorne - One minute a few surfers in Australia were looking forward to catching a wave, the next they were swallowed up in the world's largest bubble bath.
Foam swallowed an entire beach in the Australian town of Lorne, Victoria, near Melbourne.
Lorne local Alex Cleland and two surfers captured the frothy sight on video (see above) at the Victorian town's north beach, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Cleland, 29, said Lorne residents were only treated to the foam bonanza every three to five years.
"It's pretty amazing when it happens," he said. "That's why I was happy to get the camera out."
They did more than that. KSL reports that the surfers took stock of the situation and decided to do what anyone else would do: They body surfed them!
CBC news says the ocean creates foam when heavy rains send organic matter flowing into the ocean.
And according to the Daily Mail, the foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed.
All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles.
These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore.
As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam.
The foam "surfs" towards shore until the wave "crashes", tossing the foam into the air.
Apparently, the waves were so thick at times that these guys formed tunnels in the stuff.
"It was insane," Cleland said.
What's insane critics say is playing in seemingly innocent white fluff.
While the foam collected on our beaches appears picturesque and novel, it conceals some very real dangers for humans and animals, ABC Sidney reports.
One person watched his dog die a very slow and painful death after contracting a severe viral condition after frolicking in seafoam after a big storm; he warned all pet owners to keep a wary eye on their dogs if they are walking near beaches.
ABC adds: the warning remains not to allow children or anyone else to go paddling or playing in floodwaters, as raw sewerage, dead animals, rotting food and all sorts of other contaminants have been washed downstream or washed ashore with the storms.
More about sea foam, ocean foam, Surfing, Australia
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