Published on: September 16, 2021



What is in news : Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has removed over 20,000 kg of TARBALLS from Juhu and Versova beaches in Mumbai recently

What are tarballs :

  • Dark-coloured, sticky balls of oil that form when crude oil floats on the ocean surface
  • Formed by weathering of crude oil in marine environments
  • Transported from the open sea to the shores by sea currents and waves
  • Some are as big as a basketball while others are smaller globules
  • Usually coin-sized and are found strewn on the beaches. However, over the years, they have become as big as basketballs and can weigh as much as 6-7 kgs
  • Usually found in beaches during Monsoon

How are tarballs formed:  The NIO study states that “wind and waves tear the oil slick into smaller patches that are scattered over a much wider area. Various physical, chemical and biological processes (weathering) change the appearance of the oil”.