Many names for oil on the water
See the major forms oil takes on upon water contact.
A very thin layer of fresh oil that generally covers a large area. A sheen can be almost transparent or can appear as a metallic or rainbow shimmer.
Brown or black oil
From the air, the major parts of the spill may look like black or brown latex (depending on the type of oil) and will be several millimeters thick.
Wind sometimes organizes surface oil into lines or streaks. Thicker oil is often found in the front or middle, with sheen trailing and around the edges.
When heavy crude begins to evaporate and dissolve, the residue, mixed with water into an emulsion, becomes sticky, like pudding or peanut butter.
Waves and wind break mousse into congealed balls up to a foot in diameter. Giant tar balls are called pancakes and can span 1,000 feet or more.