Update: Mystery of the black shadow to the west of Cromer pier is solved

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 July 2015

A shadow in the sea after a sudden downpour in Cromer.


A shadow in the sea after a sudden downpour in Cromer. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

It’s the mystery that baffled the most seasoned of sea watchers.

Red seaweed deposited after stormRed seaweed deposited after storm

When a strange black cloud appeared in the sea in Cromer onlookers wondered if it was an oil slick, dirt from the drains or even a large cluster of anchovies.

A picture posted on the EDP website provoked further speculation as to what could be behind the lurking shadow which appeared after a sudden downpour at the soapbox derby.

Even Anglian Water, who said it was “unlikely” that drains were the root of such an expanse, couldn’t pinpoint the cause.

But Mother Nature revealed what really hid behind the inky stain when a carpet of red seaweed was deposited on the beach.

Cromer resident Dave Roberts took the telling picture after the tide went out and it appears to solve the mystery.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said this type of seaweed was delicate and in stormy weather it could detach and fall off.

They said it normally grew on off shore reefs or on piers.

And it was good news for Cromer beach, which boasts a long standing Blue Flag award, because the spokesman said red seaweed thrived in good quality, clean water.

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