Thongweed knot: A naturally-formed knot in Thongweed washed up on a shingle beach on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset, UK, (1) 

The narrow centimetre-wide straps of Thongweed, Himanthalia elongata (L.) Gray, over two metres in length, are shed from the basal disc of this species of seaweed when the reproductive products are ripe. Vast quantities of these seaweed tapes are washed onto Jurassic Coast seashores. They are often turned and tossed by the waves – rolled around until they become tangled and knotted. The photographs show a selection of the naturally-occurring knots, skeins, patterns, and arrangements of this olive-green seaweed. These accumulations of weed were found on the pebbles, stones and gravels of shingle beaches in Dorset. 

Coiled strands of seaweed on the beach: A coiled skein of Thongweed washed ashore on a shingle beach on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset, UK (2) 

Natural knot in flotsam seaweed on the seashore: A natural knot arrangement of Thongweed washed onto a Jurassic Coast shingle beach, Dorset, UK (3) 

Himanthalia elongata fertile straps washed ashore: A loosely wound bundle of Thongweed washed up on a shingle beach, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, UK (4) 

Knotted Thongweed in a pile of seaweed washed onto a Jurassic Coast shingle beach, Dorset, UK (5) 

Common british seaweed (Thongweed) washing up on shingle: A sinuous roll of tangled, cast straps of Thongweed, being washed ashore onto a shingle beach along the Jurassic Coast, Dorset, UK (6) 

Revision of a post first published 4 November 2009 as Natural arrangements of Thongweed on shingle

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

All Rights Reserved

4 Replies to “Tangled Thongweed”

  1. Thank you, Steve. I seem to seek and find patterns everywhere I look, don’t I?. I know what you mean about the analogies to food. The thongweed straps do look like tagliatelle verde. I often describe the appearance of things with reference to food – like pebbles from the Rhossili seashore that look like sugared almonds, and boulders on Osmington beach shaped like burger buns!

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