Andrew Ford, FLORIDA TODAY
(FloridaToday.com) - Sunbathers, surfers, joggers and tourists: There are spots of gross sticky tar on the beach. It's stubborn stuff that's tough to get off shoes and easy to track into the house.
There have been reports of the icky black goo intermittently in the areas between South Cocoa Beach and Melbourne Beach, according to a release. They're glossy black pancakes with a jelly-like texture, varying from a quarter of an inch to four inches in diameter.
Coast Guardsmen at Port Canaveral were first notified on Tuesday. Contractors have since recovered about 50 pounds of the stuff.
The Coast Guard and its partners are working to address the mess. Authorities are analyzing the muck to figure out where it came from. The tar balls are not from any reported oil spills in the area.
Beach goers are advised to "avoid contact with the objects, out of an abundance of caution."
"The sudden appearance of these tar balls is not a new occurrence," Coast Guard Lt. Steven Elliot said in a release. "In fact, there have been sightings of these objects dating back several years. Although we're not fully certain as to their origin, I'd like to assure the community that the Coast Guard and our partner agencies are working as quickly as possible to ensure a thorough clean-up."