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Posidonia oceanica balls – Kefalonia, Greece

March 5, 2012

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…

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2012 10:08:28 pm

    fascinating! there is always something to learn by reading your blog. 🙂

    • March 5, 2012 10:08:42 pm

      Thank you very much for reading, and for the positive feedback. It makes me happy to know that I’m providing enjoyable content. Please come back soon.!

  2. Narf7 permalink
    March 5, 2012 10:08:56 pm

    Your post today made me smile. I come from Western Australia (now living on the other side of Australia in Tasmania) and these little balls regularly washed up on our shores on the South West Coast where I lived (tiny town called Denmark). I had no idea at the time what they were and just had fun tossing them at my siblings when I was a child on the beach. Cheers for the info and thanks for the memories :o)

  3. March 27, 2012 10:08:41 pm

    I live on Kefalonia and now I know what those things are! I am writing to ask your permission to reprint that information on the website
    http://www.kefalonia-travel-guide.com in the section on Flora and Fauna
    Thanks
    Francesca

    • March 27, 2012 10:08:40 pm

      Yes, feel free to reprint it as long as you credit myself (spencer woodard) or the website (www.anthropogen.com) for the photo…

      Thanks for visiting.

      Spencer

  4. Anonymous permalink
    April 19, 2013 10:08:19 am

    I fond theses once

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