Along the shores of California's salty Salton Sea, researchers made a rather gross, but fascinating discovery: Balls that of rotting fish flesh that had washed up to shore.
In this southward-directed photograph, note the high strand line of the adipocere fish balls. (Adipocere is decomposed flesh, also known as corpse wax.)
Closer view of fish balls
Shoreline view of the fish balls. Note the high-water mark.
Fish balls on the shore
Trenches in the shoreface beach deposits. Fish balls were only encountered in surface deposits.
Fish balls and fish bones
Fish balls with tilapia skull bones.
More fish bones and fish balls
Fish balls with parietal bones.
Sticky fish balls
Bottom of shoe after walking through sticky fish balls.
Tilapia and fish balls
Tilapia skeletal materials and fish balls.
Saved for eternity
Close-up of fish ball preserved in epoxy.
Fish ball specimens
Examples of fish balls retrieved by researchers from the shores of the Salton Sea.
Cut fish ball
A Salton Sea fish ball cut in half.
A peek inside the fish ball
Scanning electron microscope image of hematite inside a fish ball.
Live Science Staff,
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.