The Sargasso sea…. It is so diferent from any other place on earth that it may well be considered a definite geographic region ". By Rachel Carson.
“Land on sight!” after months of navigation, Christopher Columbus’s caravels began to encounter large clusters of yellow brownish algae, on which small crabs and crustaceans of all types floated. The Great Admiral thought that, at last, they had reached land. His calculation was erroneous. They were in the Sargasso Sea, at more than 1.000 miles from the American continent. The Portuguese named it that way because of the immense accumulation of algae floating adrift for kilometers after kilometers, it reminded them of a common grape from their country, the “salgazo”.
The Sargasso Sea occupies 2.000 square meters, extending almost from the US coast, to the proximity of Azores, and it is estimated that it may contain around six million tons of these algae. These include two predominant species: Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans. Unlike other similar algae from the Mediterranean or the European Atlantic Sea, these two types of Sargasso are not attached to the substrate, but live exclusively adrift. In order to float, they use small capsules filled with oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The Ranger is now traveling through the south side, where algae density is lower.