Tar floating on southern California coastal waters and commonly found on the strand and the feet of annoyed beach-strollers has stimulated considerable scientific and some idle speculation regarding origin. Knowledgeable seafarers and geologists concluded long ago that this tar originated from submarine seeps along with oil and gas which could be seen rising to the surface in several places. Leaky tankers plying the Santa Barbara channel were suspected culprits until the middle 1950s, when SCUBA diving geologists mapping underwater for oil companies in the Point Conception area noted and described the unique tar mounds from which the tar issued; thus...

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