Why does the color change and get sticky?

by Robert

I found a red piece of glass. It turns an almond white and gets very sticky when it gets wet this has me baffled.

It seems to be a Fresnel lens off a buoy warning light. There seems to be no residue on the surface but there is a golden yellow oxidation on all the older broken edges and surfaces.

Any new chips are bright red.

The pictures are of the glass edge,the surface,the back and the last picture i wet my finger and touched it.

Does anyone know why this occurs on any part of the glass.

A double mystery.... Maybe a self cleaning property that was incorporated into it. Like I said I cleaned it with acetone and both seems to be on the surface....

OKAY what have you got for me?

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Sticky when wet

by Robert
(Garfield, new jersey)

I found a large thick piece of red glass when I got it I washed it off but to my surprise it became sticky enough to lift it off the counter.

As soon as it dried off it was not sticky at all looks like a warning light and has me baffled.

If you have any ideas what it is or why it is sticky?

The glass is very porous maybe it causes a vacuum?

- question submitted by Robert - May 2018

Comments for Sticky when wet

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Feb 23, 2022
I found a tiny one!
by: Kerowacky

I found a sticky red piece of glass just like this! thank you for your post, my mystery is solved. now, WHAT THE HECK IS MAKING IT DO THIS?!?!?!?!

May 20, 2018
Sticky beach glass
by: David & Lin - Odyssey SG

Sticky sea glass is on ongoing question. Lin and I have found quite a few pieces but they are a clear very pale yellow.

We asked the same question hoping that a materials scientist learned in mechanical engineering would be able to give us info on glass that is sticky when wet.

See our questions about this and the comments at the end of the page: https://www.odysseyseaglass.com/what-kind-of-sea-glass-sticks-to-your-tongue.html

May 19, 2018
Sticky when wet
by: robert Garfield nj

There is no residue on the surface it is well worn.

I have cleaned it many times. It turns the glass white and gets sticky. The water absorbs quickly into the surface - it then is no longer sticky but takes many hours for the glass to turn back to its original red color with opalescence.

In short the glass turns from red to white and gets very sticky as soon as the water absorbed below the surface and then it looses the sticky feel but takes hours or over night to turn back to the red.

Any ideas why? I think it is very porous and causes a suction but why turn white? Still very cool and mysterious.

May 06, 2018
This is a Fresnel Lens

Hi there, Seaglassdog here....

What you found is from a Red Fresnel Lens usually used on the Portside of boats & ships as a directional signaland very rare indeed!!!!.....

The Starboard side Fresnel Lens is a Rasberry Blue in color & equally as rare and have found a lot of these in Russia in all sizes & colors incl. Red, Orange, Rasberry Blue, Sapphire Blue & White and none were ever sticky.....

You might have some residue on the glass that water won't take off so try to wash it in Isopropyl Alcohol and if that doesn't work try Acetone or fingernail polish remover on it but remember to wash it in soap & water right after this!!!...

Good Luck!..


May 04, 2018
Sticky red piece
by: Carol

I also found a piece of red glass that was very sticky. Must be something in the way it is made.

Your awesome find looks like a lens to me. From a car, a boat? A warning lantern?

Whatever it is, you are very lucky to have found such a neat piece!

Thanks for sharing.

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