Don't Panic! (Yet) Those Tar Balls In Key West Didn't Come From The BP Oil Spill

As you can see above, a pretty solid freak-out hit Duval Street yesterday when upwards of 50 tar balls turned up in the ocean and on beaches around Key West.

But not to worry! Turns out these floating blobs of disgusting petroleum didn't come from the massive BP gusher in the Gulf. Which is, we guess, good news?

Though shouldn't we be a little weirded out that 50 unrelated globs of life-destroying slime just happened to be bobbing around protected mangroves?

For a minute there yesterday, it sure looked like BP had finally found it's way to our neck of the woods. The Coast Guard rounded up tar balls from Smathers Beach to Big Pine Key to Fort Zachary State Park.

The tar balls were rushed via a Coast Guard jet to a laboratory in New London, Conn., last night for testing.

A couple hours ago, the Coast Guard announced that the results conclusively showed the tar balls "do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."

Whew! So where did it come from?

"The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time," the Coast Guard reports.

Gulp. But this means we can breathe a sigh of relief that BP's oily cluster of evil might stay away from the Keys, right?

"The conclusion that these tar balls are not from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in no way diminishes the need to continue to aggressively identify and clean up tar ball-contaminated areas in the Florida Keys," Capt. Pat DeQuattro says in the Coast Guard release.

Eeep! Well, at least BP's new pipe is reducing the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf, correct?

Welllll ... actually the Herald is reporting this morning that the gusher is actually getting worse. "It's my worst nightmare apparently becoming a reality," Sen. Bill Nelson tells the Herald.

Oh. God.

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