Question re: something I saw from air

I was flying to the Virgin Islands from the Washington, D.C. area last weekend and saw something while we were over the Atlantic that I could not explain.

We were somewhere approx 1/2 way between Savannah Georgia and Puerto Rico and I was staring out at the ocean when I noticed a path of large orange “tadpole” shaped blobs in the water. Bulbous head with a tail all pointing in the same direction. These blobs covered a large area - at least 1/2 mile wide and were visible for a long distance running (I believe) North/South. At first I assumed it was something dumped from or stirred up by a passing freighter, but then I noticed other, much smaller, areas as we continued flying.

This was deep, open ocean from the looks of it with no ships in sight. The orage was almost the color of a diepack, but much much larger and quite numerous.

Any thoughts as to what it was or where else I could go for answers?

Giant poison arrow frog tadpoles.

Algae or Redtide ?
Are you sure you were in deep water— could be different kinds of seaweed too.

Box Jelly fish

yeah, probably algae blooms n/m

sargasso sea?
“The Sargasso Sea is unique among the seas of the world in that it has no coastline. It is completely surrounded by water as a free-floating sea. The location of the Sargasso Sea is in the North Atlantic, bounded by the Gulfstream on the West, the Greater Antilles on the South, and Bermuda to the North. It has a large oval shape of thousands of square miles and rotates slowly clockwise.”

Considered that
Does anyone know if the Sargasso Sea is continuous, or would be divided into sections. These were not individual small (jelly fish) size blobs, but large (100 yards across) blobs in the main section.

Other options?

possibly, migrating
sea rays. I cannot remember the species, but I know they migrate in the Gulf of Mexico and they are said to be spectacular to observe . . . many thousands of them migrating together, just under the surface. Perhaps somebody can add more info . . .

Most likley…
the Jahre Viking had been carying fondu and spilt it.

satellite photo
Here’s a satellite photo. As you near the edge, I presume the gaps of open water would be larger.


– Last Updated: Mar-08-09 1:27 AM EST –

Come to think of it, I'll bet you were crossing the Gulf Stream a little ways downstream from the Sargasso Sea. I've seen cases on rivers where a swampy, slow moving area has a covering of something on top of the water, and where it meets the faster current of the river that it feeds into, the pond scum kind of trickles out in a line in little pieces. If you were a few dozen yards downstream of such a juction, all you would see is the continual line of patches of the pond scum. Presumably, the edge of the Sargasso Sea that fronts the Gulf Stream would have pieces of seaweed continually carried off in the same way, and that would explain the similar shapes and the continual line of such shapes running off to the horizon.

Sargassum weed?
some pics of it look orangey in color:

i.e. Seaweed … see above
The shapes described by 0.p. are not all that uncommon.

West of Hawaii there is a similar “dead” area where plastic from around the world becomes becalmed and stranded. I’ve heard you can see it from the air but have not found a picture googling for it.

Now we’re onto something
That looks like both the color and general shape of what I saw.

I was hoping for a school of hundred foot orange sea rays.

maybe jelly fish migration
I have some cool pics of jelly fish migration. we are talking millions.

email me and i will send you pics ok.

its amazing.

thats what i think maybe


Next time sit in coach
Too many free drinks in first class. I always see stuff that i can’t explain


Not jelly fish but sting-ray migration pics…sorry. I just was in 1st class


One more vote for seaweed…although objects from the air look a LOT smaller than they actually are on the ground (or on/in the water!).

Based on the Sargassum Weed photo
Based on the Sargassum Weed photo posted above, the area I was flying over and other info I’ve read about the Sargassa Sea (sp?) - I am 90+ percent confident that what I saw was large areas of Sargassum Weed.