Pluff Mud is the Smell of the Lowcountry

Dated: March 28 2020

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Pluff mud is the smell of the Lowcountry

When the tide goes out in our Beaufort-area marshes, a thick gooey mud can be seen, and it sure can be smelled too. It's pluff mud, and, well, pluff mud is the smell of the Lowcountry.

Some say it smells like rotten eggs, some say sulfur, and some say it smells fishy.

Some say it's the smell of home.

But what is it?

Pluff mud is a local term for the slippery, slimy, sticky mud in the tidal flats and grass salt marshes of the Lowcountry.

It's made by the decomposition of the dead marsh grass over time. When the grass dies with each nature cycle, it decomposes and keeps creating new layer after new layer of pluff mud.

With the pluff mud spending an awful lot of time under water it has very little oxygen in it. The scientific process of the decomposing grass combined with that lack of oxygen creates the distinctive aroma that some may describe as 'fishy', but we prefer to call it the smell of home.

Pluff mud is also very sticky, thick and gooey. When you step in it, it's entirely possible that you could sink up to your ankles, your knees, or even to your hips.  And, you can almost always kiss those shoes or flip flops goodbye.

Pluff mud is everywhere and Beaufort SC is home to some amazing marsh views that seem to go on forever.

South Carolina has an estimated 344,500 acres of salt marshes with pluff mud, the most of any state on the entire east coast. A lot of those acres are right here in Beaufort SC.

Here in the Lowcountry we have a certain appreciation for things. We don't mind waiting for the downtown swing bridge when it's open. We enjoy hearing the sound of freedom in the sky. We don't whine about getting a little too much sun, either.

We also don't complain when the tide goes out and the pluff mud is back.

It's the smell of home.

If you're thinking of relocating to the Beaufort SC area, we can help make your dream a reality by helping you find your forever home here in the Lowcountry. Call us at 843-521-2121 and one of our experienced agents can assist you in becoming a Beaufort local.

And, there's a lot of pluff mud too.

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