A harbor seal looking pleased with himself.

A harbor seal looking pleased with himself. (Photo: Andreas Trepte/CC BY-SA 2.5)

Joy-seeking swimmers: were you hoping to catch some of the summer’s waning rays at Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts? Are you now ready to head there to take in the spot’s “dramatic landscapes,” “massive dunes,” and “popular seaside bar and restaurant”? Had you, perhaps, saved this happening spot for last, knowing it would be one of the best beachgoing experiences of the season?

I regret to inform you that the seals got there first. As CapeCod.com reports, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment has closed the beach for several days, because it’s full of seal poop.

A test last Friday revealed “high levels of fecal coliform and total coliform” in the water, says CapeCod.com. A retest the following Tuesday failed as well.

Experts blame a combination of poopy seals, heavy rainstorm, and weed-filled water. “We do have seaweed that floats in and out and traps seal feces so it could be a function of seaweed plus seals,” Suzanne Grout Thomas, the Wellfleet beach administrator, told the outlet.

Thus far, this is a contained problem. “All of the bathing beaches are tested weekly and Cahoon Hollow is the only beach in Wellfleet to fail,” writes CapeCod.com. Clean up soon, Cahoon.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.