Posidonia oceanica balls – Kefalonia, Greece
Below are a few photographs I took of these interesting balls which are naturally formed by the tidal ebb and flow out of the fibrous material from the foliage of Posidonia oceanica, also known as Neptune Grass, or Mediterranean Tapeweed.
P. oceanica is a seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It forms large underwater meadows. It’s presence is indicative of clean water. Thus, as one would expect, today the populations of this species are dwindling. The beds here seem to be fairly healthy, however.
Interestingly P. oceanica reproduces asexually, creating clones of itself. Single organisms of the plant have been found that exceed 100,000 years in age, stretching for 15 kilometers, reaching up to 6000 metric tons of mass. Also interesting is that the species can only be found in the waters of the Mediterranean and Australia.
The grass washes up on the seashore in large quantities and makes fantastic compost.
Click individual photos to enlarge…