Beachgoers see red as algae and maggots take over the sand

Mar 13, 2022
New South Wales residents were shocked to find the usual pristine Hyams Beach blanketed in red algae. Source: Twitter/@KarenLeahDwyer2

Hyams Beach, at Jervis Bay in New South Wales, may be known for having some of the whitest sand in the world however, things have changed in the past week, as beachgoers were met with a different, more alarming sight. Instead of the pristine white sands, they were expecting to frolick in, beach bums were met with a beach full of red, maggot filled algae.

The recent wild weather in New South Wales caused huge swells to push a massive algae bloom onto the beach, blanketing the beach.

Local resident Jayde Clark told the Daily Mail she was shocked to see the beach had turned bright red.

“My husband and I go surfing out there all the time so we wanted to see how the sets were rolling in and then we saw that monstrosity,” she said.

“We were completely in shock, in the whole 25 years my husband had lived here he had never seen anything like it.”

Clarke also mentioned the beach smelt badly and was infested with maggots.


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Dr Trudy Costa from the University of Wollongong‘s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences told the South Coast Register that despite its appearance the algae poses no danger to humans.

“It most likely washed up as a result of the recent weather and storms, this is called ‘wrack,” she said.

“There could be maggots within it as there are many tiny organisms that live in the algae that then die when it is washed up on the shore.

“Wrack can be smelly if it sits there for a while but it is really important ecologically. As it breaks down, it delivers nutrients and food to the organisms that live in the sand underneath – this is their main source of food.”

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