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Foot Tar-Tar

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19 January, 2018 By Lisa Farber

After 20 years of living at the beach, I stepped in my first tar bubble. Slightly panicked, I tried removing it with rubbing alcohol but to no avail. I then read that ice would freeze it and it would peel off but all that froze were my toes. What exactly was glued to my foot?

City of Laguna Beach Marine Protection Officer, Jeremy Frimond, explained that there’s natural oil reservoirs out there and every once in a while they hiccup and oil droplets rise in the water column to the surface. Pressure and temps mold the oil into black nodules which eventually wash ashore. Natural oil seepage is heavily concentrated off the coast of Santa Barbara and with springtime winds and ripping currents it’s not uncommon to see tar bubbles in Laguna. If you happen to step in one don’t panic. Any oil-based product, including sunscreen, will remove this gnarly substance. Thankfully, there haven’t been any reported oil spills from neighboring derricks so let’s hope it stays that way!


1 Review

Reviews

Melanie
Utah
Very Helpful Post

I so appreciated reading this post after visiting Laguna Beach with my family this week. Three of us came in contact with the tar. We were wondering what in the world was going on, and finding this post was very helpful. We did have a few casualties in our group, a pair of pants, a pair of shorts and one pair of gold sparkly flip flops were unsalvageable. Luckily, the memories we made at the beach were well worth it.

April 2019

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