I thought this was a joke when I first read the blurb in The Week. As reported in The National Geographic instances of "sea-mucus blobs" are on the rise. These phenomena are 'clumbs of living and dead organic matter that aggregate into vast, noxious, gooey masses called mucilage.' (Sounds like the ocean needs some decongestant.)
Sitings of these things were recorded all the way back to the 18th century. However, scientists speculate that rising ocean temperatures are to blame for the increased frequency and size of these bodies. (Quick, someone call Steve McQueen and have him bring his CO2 extinguisher again.) Some can 'stretch for more than 100 miles, often near coastlines and beaches, and can be teeming with harmful viruses and bacteria...'
Blobs can gum up the gills or smother sea life. Swimmers who get caught in blobs can develop nasty rashes.
And, yes, there was even a campy theme song from the movie written by Burt Bacharach: