Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Australian (not so Nice) Bubble Party

Tommy whilst a little drunk from Lithuanian vodka exclaims, 'When are we going to the bubble party?' He reminiscences of going to an 80's themed bubble party a few years before in Tallinn.

'Tommy there is no bubble party!'

We ate dinner, drank more vodka and threw Tommy over the fence.  There was no bubble party in Lithuania.  However we did manage to go to a cool beach party though.  However, if Tommy were on one of the beaches in Australia today he could in fact go to a bubble party.  Although these bubbles are not the ones where he should want to party. 

What the hell?  

Every few years with immense agitation of the seawater caused from a tropical cyclone or some other phenomenon foam washes ashore.  With higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter (e.g. surfactants like soap and everything else) the water is churned and bubbles are formed from sticking to each other through surface tension.  The foam properties are much like bubble bath as they have a low density and thus can blow inland from the beaches quite easily.  On the other hand this is unlike Tommy's bubble party nor your bubble bath.

These bubbles can be potentially dangerous for a number of reasons.  Firstly, you do not know what lies beneath the foam.  There could be rocks, glass (in this case it is like the bubble party).  People also do not know what kind of surfactant particles are in the foam or have been trapped by the foam.  These could be pollutants, toxins, and even sewage.  It is obvious that you can get quite lost in the foam and two people are already reported missing and several car accidents are reported.  Lastly, this foam contaminates drinking supplies and in cities like Brisbane this is already at dangerously low levels. 

So Australia might not be the bubble party for which anybody was looking.  It does give some nice pictures though.