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Cancun Has a Nasty Seaweed Problem and Tourists Are Staying Away

An algae named sargassum is washing up, turning beaches into a slimy, brown eyesore with a smell like rotten eggs.

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Cancun Has A Seaweed Problem

For years, Cancun has relied on a simple formula -- cheap beer, brilliant sunshine and pristine Caribbean beaches -- to lure tourists by the millions.

But for the past several months, the last part of the equation has been stained by an invasion of seaweed-like algae. Thousands and thousands of tons of it have been piling up in Cancun and dozens of nearby beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Holbox. Not only is the slinky, slimy brown stuff an eyesore, but it reeks – like rotten eggs, many say.