Mysterious tar balls wash up on New Jersey beaches

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Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Authorities in New Jersey are investigating the origins of mysterious tar balls washing up on beaches in Long Branch and Monmouth.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Monmouth County officials said tar balls of various sizes and shapes have been found along the Jersey Shore in recent days, but experts have thus far been unable to identify their origins.


Tar balls are created when crude oil on the surface of the ocean gets formed into balls by wind and waves. The balls are sometimes created by oil spills, but can also result from natural oil seeps.

Investigators conducted a fly-over on Tuesday, but were unable to identify any oil on the surface of the water.

Beach visitors are being advised to avoid contact with the balls.

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