Anglesey bay blanketed in sea foam after Storm Claudio in strange coastal phenomenon

Watch: The moment sea foam blown in-land by a storm made this Anglesey village look like a snowscape.

Credit: Rachel Hawken

A strange coastal phenomenon made parts of Trearddur Bay in Anglesey look like it was blanketed in snow this week.

The aftermath of Storm Claudio left the seaside village covered in fluffy white sea foam on late Wednesday (2 November) afternoon, blown in-land by high winds of up to 60mph.

One bungalow was enveloped in the wintery scene.

Its owner, Rachel Hawken, captured the incredible images of the frothy white phenomenon, which looked more like a snow storm than the wet and gusty conditions of Storm Claudio.

When pictures of the phenomenon were shared online, one person commented: "Who put the washing powder in the sea? Incredible!” Credit: Media Wales/Rachel Hawken

The strange substance is usually created when rough conditions churn up organic matter that has been breaking down in the sea, such as disintegrating algal blooms and tiny particles of fats and fish.

Like soap, they act as surfactants, creating bubbles when the sea water is agitated – which explains the 'washing powder' effect.

The rougher the sea, the more foam that washes up on the shore.

Most sea foam is not harmful to humans and is often an indication of a productive ocean ecosystem.

But it depends on the algae present: in some cases, when bubbles within the foam pop, they can release airborne toxins which may irritate eyes and lungs.

It's not the first time the phenomenon happened in Trearddur Bay. In early 2020, Storm Dennis also left the area covered in snowy sea foam. Credit: Media Wales/Rachel Hawken

According to South West Water, algal blooms generally occur between April and August. Foams are likely to be due to algae breaking down or other natural processes between these dates.