Fucus vesiculosus is widespread in the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel, where it lives attached to rocks along the seashore. It becomes detached from the rocks during the spring tides and washes up on the beach. The people call it "goémon" or "varech", according to the regions, meaning "flotsam". The name "Fucus" is derived from the Greek word "phycos", which means "seaweed". The species name, "vesiculosus", refers to the appearance of the thallus, with its many vesicles.