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Photos: Weird Yellow Fluff Balls Wash Up on French Beaches

Yellow blobs

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

Starting on July 14, thousands of yellow blobs started washing ashore on French beaches.

Foamy material

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

The blobs looked a bit like foam, yellow earwax or mousse.

Mysterious origin

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

The yellow blobs washed ashore over the course of several days, along several beaches in the tourist heavy portion of North France.

Not quite foam

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

The balls have a slightly brittle texture and don't really resemble foam, but though they seem like paraffin, they don't smell like it and don't melt in the sun.

Tons of waste

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

So far tons of waste has washed up.

Beach pollution

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

Here, a view of the foam tangled up with kelp.

Cleanup

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

The organization Sea-Mer Association has been trying to clean up the foam, so children don't use it to adorn their sand castles.

Foam balls everywhere

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

Here, another view of the foam balls tangled with other pollution.

Mysterious source

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

It's not clear what caused the pollution, but one possibility is that grease from hot boat exhaust mixed with cold sea water, creating these clumps

Mixed material

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

Once the pollution is in the water, it can mix with other contaminants.

Danger

Sea Waste

(Image credit: Sea-Mer Association)

So far, officials say the flotsam poses no risk to human health, but people from the Sea-Mer Association say it's not safe to touch until it's identified.