MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A large buildup of seaweed known as sargassum has begun to wash up along the South Florida coast, but experts warn a gargantuan amount is coming in a couple of months.

Dr. Brian LaPointe, a researcher at Florida Atlantic University, said he is monitoring the brown seaweed.

“If we can figure out what the drivers are of this big blob, then maybe we can take some action to mitigate it,” he said.

7News cameras captured the brown seaweed up and down our coast, from Broward to Miami-Dade counties.

“It wasn’t until 2011 that we began to see this unusual bloom develop in the central tropical Atlantic Ocean,” said LaPointe.

7News on Friday spoke with beachgoers who are visiting the area.

“I am honestly OK with it, like, the ocean is the ocean, all part of nature,” said a woman.

“I grew up on a farm, so I don’t get bothered by lots of things like this,” said another woman.

Health officials warn to expect more of the brown seaweed. In fact, the seaweed already extends about 5,000 miles wide in the middle of the ocean.

“It doubled in size in January from December,” said LaPointe.

Health officials want beachgoers to be aware of the sargassum that is expected to build up along the shoreline.

Health officials said the seaweed brings problems like a foul odor that irritates the nose, throat and eyes.

While the seaweed doesn’t pose serious health risks to humans, health officials said, the creatures that live in the sargassum can cause issues like rashes and blisters.

Researchers said a contributor to the massive algae bloom’s growth is the same thing that has been killing off seagrass. The reason that’s important, experts said, is because it’s causing manatees to die in the Indian River Lagoon.

A satellite image from the European Space Agency showed the large blob headed toward the Sunshine State.

The seaweed is currently hundreds of miles away from the U.S., but authorities said it is already visible close to the coast of Florida.

LaPointe has been tracking the seaweed and its growth.

“There are people all around the Caribbean region trying to look at engineering solutions to deal with the problem, like booms to hold it off the beach,” he said.

Monroe County health officials are already warning beachgoers in their area about the seaweed.

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