Beaches in southern California remained closed on Friday despite attempts by crews to clean up the globs of oil that washed ashore, the Associated Press reported.
The balls of oil varied in size, with some as big as footballs, and were first noticed Wednesday by lifeguards at Manhattan Beach, according to the AP. Cleanup crews responded and reportedly worked into Thursday night.
The origin of the substance was unknown, according to the AP. Officials reportedly speculated that the balls could have originated from a close-by oil refinery, an offshore tanker, or from last week’s major oil spill in Santa Barbara.
The AP reported that the Coast Guard found no evidence that the balls came from the offshore oil tanker. And, according to the AP, tar balls can happen naturally.
Although locals told KNBC that the substance had been seen before, they said the number of globs was unusual.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife told the AP that no wildlife was harmed by the balls. However, nearly seven miles of coastline were closed because of them.
h/t Think Progress