Tarballs and tar mats were washed up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, but then Hurricane Alex washed sand over the oil on the shore. The oil can be found up to 2 feet under the sand, which is potentially dangerous to animals and humans who might dig around in the shores. Also, this oil under the sand will not break down like it would on the surface. If it were on the surface it would gradually be dissolved due to sunlight and bacteria.
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