New Hampshire residents were disgusted to discover the shoreline of a popular beach was covered with thousands of maggots last week. The tiny larvae were seen wiggling on top of piles of seaweed that washed ashore as well as covering patches of sand near the surf.
Resident Ryan Fowler was appalled by the sight on Hampton Beach, which he told NBC 10 was "writhing with maggots, probably thousands of maggots."
"It's really disappointing because my loved ones swim in it," he told the news station.
Fowler captured the disturbing scene on video, which has since gone viral on Facebook with more than 540,000 views as of Friday afternoon.
Hundreds of locals commented on the post, predicting where the maggots might have come from.
"There must be a very large whale or something carcass offshore to generate all of these maggots in the search," one Facebook user suggested.
"Looks like they were dumped there," another commented.
"Honestly I don’t think they washed ashore I think someone/ family was rude and left a bag of trash and garbage behind. Maggots are fly larvae and flies won’t stay on the sand that long with the waves," one woman guessed.
Officials with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services were contacted about the issue and later told NECN it's likely flies laid eggs after feasting on rotting seaweed that washed up on the beach. The agency said officials would thoroughly examine the area to determine whether to declare it a public health risk.
"Maggots are unpleasant, but there's no evidence that they cause pose any health risks to humans," Sciencing explained in an April blog post, adding that a maggot can "double in size" within the span of just a few days.
The science site suggests using boiling water and a small amount of bleach to get rid of larvae.