TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Vast mats of Sargassum have begun to wash sunny South Florida as the massive belt of seaweed twice the width of the United States makes its way toward land.

A video, shared by Clay Eley on Thursday, shows a beach in Jupiter, Florida covered in the brown seaweed. More can be seen riding the waves nearby.

“The Sargassum seaweed blob arrives in South Florida,” Eley can be heard saying in the video.

While Sargassum blooms are nothing new, scientists say this one could be the largest in history.

According to a March 1 Sargassum outlook jointly filed by the University of South Florida and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this year’s blob measured an estimated 6.1 million tons (12.2 billion pounds) and is considered to be the second-highest amount ever recorded for the month of February.

But there is a silver lining.

After increasing for two consecutive months, the overall quantity of Sargassum in the central Atlantic Ocean has decreased from January to February, the outlook adds.

“Looking ahead, the decrease in Sargassum quantity from January to February is uncommon, and presents a glimmer of hope that the overall 2023 bloom may not be as large as previously feared, although 2023 will still be a major Sargassum year.”

The blob is not expected to affect the beaches along the Gulf coast.

“Nevertheless, the large quantities already in the Caribbean Sea (and to the east) will continue to accumulate and migrate westward, creating beaching hazards along the way,” the outlook said.

To read more about Sargassum and its effects on people and the environment, click here.