Video: Stepping In Tarballs A Beach Vacation Lowpoint For Little Girl

This video shows a lgirl stepping into a tarball on a Destin, FL and screaming for her mother to get it off. The politicians and billboards are telling people to never mind the oil spill, come down to the shore, the water’s fine. Some of them are, but this beach is not, not today.

It’s covered in tarballs and summer pleasure-seekers are still frolicking in the waters. Undaunted, the vacationers carry bottles of “Goo Gone” to deal with the oil they’re sharing the ocean with.

Some hotels and rental properties are fighting back with their own YouTube videos. This one was uploaded six days prior and is also of Destin Beach in the Florida panhandle:

“Destin Oil Spill Beach Update 6/17 from Five Star Beach Properties, The beaches are oil and tarball free…no smell of oil. The water is extremely clear today. The water is warm and a lot of people are out enjoying it today!”

However, the ocean is not a static object, and these amazing/horrifying photos show, even if you don’t see the oil, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Mother of the Year Lets Distressed Daughter Play on Oil-Soaked Beach [Gawker.TV] (Thanks to GitEmSteveDave!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. t-spoon says:

    Awesome mom, great care.

  2. crashrider says:

    I am just curious about the thought process of these people on the beach in the first vid.

    Blobs of oil on the actual beach. “Go ahead kids, play all you want in the water! It’s fine!”

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      It is fine . . . they have Goo Gone! :)

      • NewsMuncher says:

        The back of the Goo Gone that we have says it’s made of petroleum distillates and to avoid contact with skin. “Keep out of reach of children”


        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          It should say prolonged contact, like the MSDS says. But perhaps your bottle is different than mine two, or you decided to omit that word.

  3. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This is my home, I had to keep myself from crying. I grew up going to these beaches and it was bad enough when Hurricane Opal came through and flattened the 40ft sand dunes.

    This.. ugh its heartbreaking.

    And to answer your questions about what’s going through the tourists heads?

    “I paid for this G** D*** vacation and we’re going to the beach oil or not!”

    • TailsToo says:

      I hope as they drive home in their SUVs, they realize that it’s time they do something about this problem…

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        The issue is – not only the SUVs or cars (and we aren’t going to make any dent on that front until people stop queuing up for the drive through with their AC on for 30 minutes when they could just as easily walk inside)

        Your entire computer is made of oil (plastic)
        I’d wager that 90% of everything in the grocery store is coated in oil (plastic)

        Granted a lot of plastic is recycled, but it is a MUCH larger share of where oil goes then is gasoline.

        • TailsToo says:

          My point is that people have to want to change. As long as their continues to be great demand for oil, things like this will happen. It’s foolish of us to say that BP is evil when we keep buying their product.

          Want to get back at BP? Use less oil, and spread the word to others.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            Very true. I was just saying that people aren’t totally aware of where all that oil is going.

          • Draygonia says:

            I have to poke the flaws into your argument. Consume less oil? We don’t have the technology to go without! Even reducing it is impossible! At most it will stay the same or slowly go up, but not down… not in todays growing world where the population is increasing so fast.

            Energy will eventually run out, there is no going around it.

            • LandruBek says:

              What do you mean by “reducing it [energy consumption?] is impossible”? Not only is it quite possible, I think it is inevitable: within a few generations, per capita oil consumption will be less no matter what we do. However, if you are saying that it is hopeless to expect the necessary political leadership out of the 111th Congress, then I agree.

        • mikeyo says:

          Are you sure that more oil is used to make plastic than as fuel? The DOE doesn’t agree with you:

        • moonjest says:

          No, your entire computer is not made of plastic. Nice exaggeration.

          • jamar0303 says:

            Not if you buy Panasonic it’s not (magnesium alloy). But most makers use plastic for all their outside-facing parts.

      • enad58 says:

        How about a high-speed rail system for freight – would anybody miss sharing the freeway with tractor trailors?

    • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

      This. I cried last week when I saw the Pensacola pictures. This is our HOME. And there is no amount of money that can fix what’s happening.

    • abberz3589 says:

      This hurts so bad. I live in Mobile near Gulf Shores and those beaches are just destroyed. Pensacola-gone. I was hoping it wouldn’t hit Destin for a while…I grew up camping at Grayton Beach, right down the road from Destin. I can’t believe this is happening.
      /also can’t believe the assholes telling people it’s not a big deal. this is our HOME, our fucking backyard.

  4. dolemite says:

    I remember going to an event somewhere when I was a kid (I think at the beach). When we walked back to the car, a paving crew had just come through, and paved the street we had to cross. We ran across hot asphalt barefoot to get back to the car. I think it took a week for it to come off.

  5. madanthony says:

    I hate when compressed unix files wash up on the beach.

  6. Hoss says:

    My god, the disaster has reached the point of making kids feet dirty. Who cares that the ecosystem may feel the effects for decades,… lil missy got dirty

    • pz says:

      You’ll notice that people really don’t start caring about environmental problems until it starts affecting them in their daily lives.

  7. Nighthawke says:

    Wear sandals or shoes when tar is washing up on the beach. This is where those fancy gel shoes come in handy.

  8. kylere1 says:

    These parents are failing in their job as badly as BP is failing to contain the oil spill.

  9. Lprd says:

    :[ The beaches of Walton county have always been one of my favorite places on earth. Especially Seaside Beach. This is heartbreaking. I was just getting over the dunes being ruined too

  10. kgmoome says:

    I’m pretty sure the mom could of used that little blue shovel to make a small path in the “tarball zone”, but it might be a good idea to skip the beach all together and hang out by the pool.

  11. PanCake BuTT says:

    Couldn’t someone just go along the shore with a huge back pack torch, like those used in dubbya dubbya one and burn all those ‘tarBALLS’ away ? I’m just sayin’….bite the bullet !

    Also you would think you’d see more kids slippin’ & slidin’ off the tarballs ? Skimboarding any1 ?

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      That’s a really good idea, however, you’d be hard pressed to get the tourists to GTFO, then you’d have complaints “they were burning the oil and my vacay was ruined /sob” Damn tourists.

    • Draygonia says:

      Im pretty sure it is more complicated than that… Kinda hard to burn wet tarballs… plus it is an environmental hazard… burning on the beach is also unhealthy.

  12. smo0 says:

    I just looked at the pictures from the tampa news… that is absolutely awful.

  13. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Am I the only one a little creeped out by some random guy walking along and filming children and down Mom’s bathing suit?

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      I don’t see him leering down her suit at all. It just looks like he’s taller than (or standing on something higher than) her.

      Aside from that, what’s with our obsession that every man with a camera is a pedophile? I feel so bad for men now. They can’t go into any public place and interact with children (like women get to do) without being afraid they’ll come off as creepy or be accused of being sicko perverts. If I talk to a little girl at the mall nobody glares at me accusingly, but if my brother does it… Death Ray Stares. :( BoingBoing talks about pedophile paranoia quite a bit. It always makes me sad that we, as a culture, are pushing men into the margins when it comes to interaction with children. Children need adult male interaction as much as adult female interaction. They also need to learn how to talk to adults other than their parents too. And it’s good for adults to talk to children, because they have unique ideas and perspective.

      Huh… that was a bit off topic…. Sorry about that.

      Here was the reasonable response…

      Nope. I didn’t see anything creepy about a guy shooting a video about people’s reactions to the tarballs.

    • Tightlines says:

      I’m more creeped out by the woman letting her kids play in the oil.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      You are a sick man. A guy can’t take a camera to the beach without people like you thinking he’s a pedo. Well, you kinda redeemed yourself by insinuating maybe he was just a peeping pervert. I’m a little raw about this because I had a team of cops swarm my house and start searching the place because I took photos of some of the trick-or-treaters. You…. are the one with the sick mind.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        It wasn’t a pedo thing, it was just he sent off weird vibes. People narrating things tend to weird me out. It’s like, I don’t know what kind of scene or narrative you are trying to set up, but I don’t want to be involved in it.

    • chocobo says:

      I don’t mean to personally offend you, but I’m more creeped out by someone who thinks “omg pedophile” when they see a man anywhere in the vicinity of small children.

      Was he doing anything creepy at all? Was he talking to kids that aren’t his, was he getting close to them, was he paying any special attention to them? Not at all… but you still think “potential sexual predator”.

      Part of it obviously is because he’s on the beach and people there are not fully clothed… but how is it ok to see that stuff in public, but creepy perv territory if it’s on Youtube?

  14. ChChChacos says:

    I can’t believe the parents letting their children play in that. Atleast get them beach shoes. But I wouldn’t go near that oil with my children.

  15. 47ka says:

    You know, I don’t have a beach vacation planned because my summer got rochambeaued by tests and family weddings, but if I did this year I would probably go armed with a roll of trash bags (or something that oil wouldn’t leak through) and a kitchen spatula, and start scooping up these balls (the spatula would be slotted to let the sand fall through). It probably wouldn’t make a huge difference, but it would be something better than standing on a tar ball.

  16. Moongirl55 says:

    Sorry. I don’t think diva child whining full bore to her mommy (and the camera) about how “oilllll iisss allll over my feeeetttt!” remotely compares to volunteers hearing oil-covered dolphins gasping for air as they try to swim, or beached sea turtles struggling on the sand. Just sayin’…

    • kamel says:

      I believe the point of these videos is the fact that these parents are idiots who are risking their health and the health of their children. These tarballs and the oil in the water are dangerous and can cause a host of health problems like respiratory problems, rashes and nauseousness.

  17. Tightlines says:

    This is why I’m heading north to Canada for vacation next week.

  18. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Those pictures in the link are HORRIFIC. I had no idea until I saw them just how much of a mess it was. Until now, all I’ve seen are the pictures from underwater and on top of the water. And the worst part is the little specks left all over everything, and the layer UNDER the sand, that will never go way probably.

    I wish I could get out of this stupid office and go help clean it. I’d love to put some in a big bucket and dump it on the BP CEO’s front steps.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      It’s good you are letting Teansocean and the other companies that own 35% of the oil field off the hook.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        BP was in charge, and thus far it sounds like BP was in charge of the worst decisions, too. After they’re (hypothetically, because they aren’t going to be held to anything) done paying for the damage, they can go after Transocean themselves in court.

  19. RomeoCharlie says:

    I am from New Orleans. Lived here all my life. My father has worked for Royal Dutch Shell for almost 30 years. Even if these things were not true, and I had never been in contact with crude oil in my life, I would know enough NOT TO PLAY IN IT. Crude oil is full of volatile chemicals, especially when it forms tar balls, which essentially trap oil inside themselves. When you walk around and stomp on them, they break open and you get to enjoy the prize inside, including respiratory problems, skin irritation, the generally annoying situation of having tar stuck to your skin, and a whole slew of other problems. Not to mention that children have a propensity for putting things in their mouths and being careless about hand-washing. Why did these parents think it would be a good idea at all to take their children to an oiled beach? And stand there filming it? These parents are a couple of maroons, and they’re not the only ones. My unit has been deployed to South Louisiana since April 29th, and I’ve seen all manner of curious people coming to see the “devastation,” eerily reminiscent of the Katrina tourists. By and large, these people have been from places fairly far away from the coast. I can assure you that most of the residents from the coastal areas are avoiding the spill areas studiously, and no one on Grand Isle is letting their children play on the beach.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  20. mxjohnson says:

    But, as you see, it’s a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time. Amity, as you know, means “friendship.”

  21. jimstoic says:

    Tar occurs naturally on some beaches. Here’s an explanation of the phenomenon from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (née Minerals Management Service).

    That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, but it’s not going to harm a kid to have some tar on her feet.

    We get it on our feet where I live in Santa Barbara. Probably kids scream about it. But we use things like Goo Gone (which is made from PETROLEUM) to get it off.

  22. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Marketing idea: “Why go all the way to the Brea tar pits when you can swim right here?”

  23. aintgotone says:

    “Again, this is Destin Beach at around 3 in the afternoon, and it is covered by oil.” I’ve been hearing this guy saying this phrase throughout the entire video. I think I’m gonna dream about this tonight.

    Also, can’t the little girl just try to wash off her foot by herself? Why does she need the mom to bend down to scrap it off? Kids are spoiled nowadays.

  24. golddog says:

    Wait I’m confused. Is the videographer at Destin Beach? Are those black spots tarballs on the beach? I’m not clear…are there children playing in in and around the oil?

    Don’t mean to be *overly* critical here, but Jesus wept. Just ’cause you CAN send your video to YouTube right from your phone, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Isn’t there an app for video editing?

  25. OnePumpChump says:


    That should be the first thing people think of when they think BP.

  26. Skankingmike says:


  27. John B says:

    Florida’s beaches have ALWAYS had tarballs. Hotels with beach frontage in Melbourne provide solvents and cloths at the hotel access points.

  28. J Brill says:

    It’s on mommy’s feet too! Yay!

  29. HarbingerTG says:

    Funny that tar balls have been washing ashore for decades. It used to happen almost every weekend back in Miami when I was a kid. People need to toughen up. And I currently live in the gulf, and while this does suck, it is nothing like the news is portraying it. According to them my beach was completely covered 2 months ago.. yeah we still don’t have actual oil on the beach yet. Don’t get me wrong, it is coming. But people really need to toughen up. Everyone is so spoiled

  30. chaelyc says:

    I wonder what the long term medical effects are of wearing crude oil directly on your skin. I understand that it’s hard to stand between kids & the beach but I don’t think that letting them play around in it & then having to use another smelly chemical to remove it is very responsible.