GALVESTON, Texas -

University students in Galveston are trudging through tons of stinky seaweed to try to figure out how much has landed in a record-breaking year and how long it might take to disappear.

The Houston Chronicle reports Sunday that on May 22 alone more than 8,400 tons of Sargassum seaweed landed on a 3.3-mile stretch of beach.

That day has so far been the worst, but this year has seen record amounts of seaweed rolling in from the Sargassum Sea. The bug-and-muck-filled seaweed tends to smell and cover the sand, making it difficult for beach-goers and tourists to enjoy the coast.

It costs coastal towns thousands of dollars to clear the seaweed.

Texas A&M research assistant Robert Webster is overseeing the research. He fears this trend could become the norm.