- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A stretch of Manhattan Beach is closed as U.S. Coast Guard scientists investigate mysterious balls of tar or oil that have washed ashore.

Fire officials say it appears to be about a barrel or two of oil - nothing like the spill from a pipeline that created a 10-square-mile slick off the Santa Barbara County coast last week.

However, a two-mile stretch of beach was closed Wednesday from Manhattan into neighboring Hermosa Beach.

The cause of the goo is a mystery. There’s a refinery and oil pipeline nearby but the Coast Guard didn’t find the sheen from a spill. It also might be residue from the Santa Barbara spill.

Finally, natural seepage has been known to leave tar balls on the sand - and beachgoers’ feet.

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