Nereocystis luetkeana is the ubiquitous giant kelp of the Pacific. It has a long cylindrical stipe that gradually increases in diameter as it grows toward the surface and the result is a large carbon monoxide-filled ball that keeps it afloat. Blades are smooth, long, narrow, and brown in color. Stipes up to 100 feet are common. Distribution is from Alaska to central California in the subtidal zone.