Foam covers Footdee as storms hit Aberdeen - video

Spume phenomenon makes cars and houses look like they are covered in snow in Aberdeen village

LAST UPDATED AT 11:06 ON Wed 26 Sep 2012

THE SEAFRONT in Aberdeen was covered by sand-filled foam as gales swept the country this week. The high winds forced foam from the North Sea onto land at Footdee village, an area near Aberdeen's harbour.

Storms have been battering parts of Scotland causing flooding and road closures. Hundreds of houses and businesses have lost electricity and some schools have had to be closed.

But in Footdee village, cars, streets and houses looked as if they had been hit by a sudden snow storm.

Residents said they had never seen anything like it. One local resident said: "I looked out of the window and the North Sea was advancing toward us. Luckily it was just foam."

While BBC Scotland's Steven Duff described it as "quite an amazing phenomenon".

The foam is likely to be caused by the mucus from phytoplankton cells whipped up "like a washing machine", said one expert. Prof Christopher Todd, marine ecologist at the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews, said the easterly gales battering the Aberdeenshire coast had led to an "incredible amount of wave action".

The sea foam – or spume – is thought to be a natural product and experts do not expect any health problems for residents. While many have a messy clean-up operation on their hands, at least this dog appeared to be enjoying frolicking in the foam.

 · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.