Pat Shingleton for Jan. 30, 2013

Seawater is loaded with dissolved salts, proteins, fats and dead algae and is laced with organic matter, which consists of sea creature excrement. Collecting seawater in a beaker and shaking it creates surface bubbles. On Monday, you may have noticed kids in Australia romping in 5-foot waves of sea foam that occurred when the ocean was agitated by a combination of wind and waves. Each coast manufactures its foam in different ways, and algae blooms create thick sea foams similar to shaving cream. When the blooms decay offshore, the algal matter washes ashore, churned by the surf. Most sea foam does not affect humans along the Gulf Coast. Blooms of Karenia brevis create airborne toxins from sea foam bubbles. The aerosol irritates eyes and causes respiratory afflictions. Fastcast: Stormy.