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Archive for May 4th, 2015

New Zealand: Like something by Salvador Dalí

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Orange Seaweed Against Sky 5388

You know those Surrealist paintings by Salvador Dalí with melting watches and other strange shapes? Well, that’s what I’m reminded of here with this type of hard orange-brown seaweed that I encountered on beaches along various parts of New Zealand’s shoreline. The specimen you’re looking at comes from February 18 at Kekerengu on the northeastern coast of the South Island. To photograph this piece of seaweed I held it up against the blue sky so that you could see it in isolation rather than amid the detritus on the beach where it was lying.

In searching the Internet, I found images that made me think this seaweed might be bull kelp, Durvillaea antarctica, which you can read more about in Wikipedia and from the Seaweed Industry Association. Then I looked a little further and learned that in 2011 phycologists had segregated a kind of bull kelp and declared it a new species, Durvillaea poha, which could be what this specimen actually was.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 4, 2015 at 5:45 AM

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