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Mystery of ‘floating gold’ washing up on UK beaches solved

Floating Gold news

Welshman John Carmichael shared an image of the mystery object, which also attracted the close attention of his dog.

Gold-coloured substances have been washing up on British beaches causing a lot of discussion on social media as to their origins.

The question has been answered by staff at the Angelsea Sea Zoo, who studied Carmichael’s photo.

Frankie Hobro, director of Anglesey Sea Zoo told the Daily Post, ‘This is a palm oil berg and it is common for large numbers of them to be washed up on beaches in the same area at the same time as they are produced by a ship washing out its ballast tank. The resulting oil bergs get carried off to shore and wash up on beaches, so large numbers of these could appear anywhere along the North Wales coast over the next week or so.’

Hobro also advised dog owners to give their pets a thorough wash if they should come into contact with one. Large ships use palm oil to clean out their empty fuel tanks at sea, and then dump the used material in the ocean. The colour, size and shape of bergs can vary, with some thought to weigh up to a quarter of a tonne. Given their origins they were ‘highly loaded’ with bacteria and other potentially dangerous contaminants.

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  1. Another Bio-Weapon?
    I thought bulk fuel tanks were cleaned with a mixture using a pressure hose of sea water mixed with 55 gallon drums of Sodium Bicarbonate (1 drum per average-sized fuel bunker)…
    Sodium Bicarbonate cleans thru chemical action, sterilises the fuel bunker / tank walls, and is not harmful when pumped overboard, as sea water then pretty much neutralises the attached mixtures.
    Dopey me…unless the vessel is operated under the licence and registration of a second or third world country, and is exempt from liability for using Palm Oil by the various ‘EnvironMENTAL’ Agencies and liabilities waived by Lloyds of London…


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