Example: [Collected via e-mail, August 2007]
Origins: The photographs above date from
The Daily Mail explained the origins of the unusual phenomenon:
All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles.
These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore.
As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam.
The foam "surfs" towards shore until the wave "crashes", tossing the foam into the air.
"It's the same effect you get when you whip up a milk shake in a blender," explains a marine expert.
"The more powerful the swirl, the more foam you create on the surface and the lighter it becomes."
In this case, storms off the New South Wales Coast and further north off Queensland had created a huge disturbance in the ocean, hitting a stretch of water where there was a particularly high amount of the substances which form into bubbles.
Coincidentally, the day after we first published this article, the Australian coast saw another outbreak of sea foam, this time at Point Cartwright along Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Last updated: 24 January 2008
Lander, Alan. "No Place Like Foam." Sunshine Coast Daily. 24 January 2008. Shears, Richard. "The Day the Pacific Was Whipped Up Into an Ocean of Froth." The Daily Mail. 28 August 2007. Williams, Samantha. "Yamba Hit by Foam Lather." The Daily Telegraph. 27 August 2007.