Pristine beaches in Mexico and Belize are covered in carpets of foul-smelling seaweed

Millions of tons of brown seaweed is washing up along Mexico’s beaches and it’s putting the country’s post-COVID travel boom at risk.

Sargassum seaweed has been washing up on the Caribbean coast in record amounts. It gives a brown tint to crystal clear waters and emits a sewage-like stench when it washes ashore, according to the University of South Florida.

There were 24.2 million tons recorded in the last month in the Caribbean region, up from 18.8 million tons in May.

The boom in sargassum poses a “significant threat” to the country’s post-pandemic tourism recovery, analysts from bank BBVA warn. Particularly in Quintana Roo state, home to destinations like Cancun, Tulum and Playa

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