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Captain Lansen is sailing his old freighter from Africa to South America with a cargo of illegal explosives and a handful of motley passengers. The travelers include Dr. Webster, charged with criminal malpractice; his nymphomaniacal daughter, Unity; Eva, the ex-mistress of a recently deposed Latin American dictator; Ricaldi, an agent sent to recover money stolen by Eva; and Harry Tyler, an alcoholic piano player. When Lansen ignores his first officer's hurricane warning, his crew mutinies and abandons ship. Lansen and the passengers are also forced to take to a lifeboat, and they drift aimlessly for days. After Webster is killed by a shark and Ricaldi is carried off by an enormous octopus, the survivors come upon their ship, still in good shape though its propellers have become entangled in a morass of carnivorous seaweed. The passengers reboard the vessel and float off into another continent, where the survivors of previous wrecks have evolved a method of moving about on the deadly weed by means of gas-filled balloons. Ruling over these strange inhabitants in the manner of an evil inquisitor is El Diablo, a boy king of Spanish descent. With the aid of a friendly resident, the passengers escape death by burning the seaweed; then, having destroyed their enemies, they return to civilization.