SMELLY SUBSTANCE: Algae bild up at Cornmeal Creek.
SMELLY SUBSTANCE: Algae bild up at Cornmeal Creek. Deborah Ross

'Disgusting' substance confuses shoppers

A STRANGE substance in the water at the Sunshine Plaza that "disgusted" customers has turned out to be something a lot less sinister.

Deborah Ross was shopping at the Plaza about 10.30am on Tuesday and thought there was a build up of pollution in Cornmeal Creek.

"It was just disgusting," she said.

But the substance turned out to be trichodesmium, a type of algae more commonly known as sea sawdust, whale food and sea scum.

It was originally thought to be coral reproduction, but Plaza staff confirmed it was the algal cells that had joined together and risen to the surface.

Similar to coral reproduction, it occurs about once a year.

There was similar confusion at the Plaza in 2012 when a long, brown streak caught the attention of shoppers.