What kind of sea glass sticks to your tongue?

by David and Lin
(On a Pacific Ocean Beach)

What Kind of Sea Glass Sticks to your Tongue?

What Kind of Sea Glass Sticks to your Tongue?

Here's a twist in the Questions and Answers.

This is David from Odyssey Sea Glass asking a question that I can't find an answer to (after some limited research).

Lin and I were collecting sea glass a few days ago. Lin was far ahead and no one else was around.

I found a small piece of opalescent glass (has a shimmer within it like an opal), probably the heat-sensitive type of opalescent glass.

Since it was quite frosted and I wanted to see the color, I quickly put it in my mouth to wet it (not recommended, folks, but fools like me do it all the time).

Ouch! The glass stuck to my tongue so hard that it hurt to pull it loose.

Then it stuck to my lip! Wow.

I scraped and tapped it with my fingernail, thinking that somehow a piece of hard candy might have made it to the beach.

Nope, felt just like glass. It didn't feel like agate or another mineral.

I tried it again to make sure I wasn't imagining things (fools do this). Double ouch!!! Stuck to my tongue (again) and REALLY hurt to pull it loose (again)!

I was reminded of the (true) stories of getting one's tongue stuck to a frozen railroad track or flagpole. I decided not to try licking the sea glass a third time.

When I met up with Lin, I told her about it. I wanted her to test it.

Unlike me, she is not a fool and absolutely refused to lick the glass.

We headed home.

Being so unusual but of a color of other glass we had found in the past, we went through our collection and started pulling out similar glass, which we put in a small baggie.

I found that I could wet my finger, stick it in the plastic bag, and then some of the glass would stick to my finger and pull out of the rest.

The photo that you see above is the glass we found that has this quality.

Note that only a small portion of our opalescent glass does this sticking thing, and it all has a that similar almost patchy opalescent wheat color.

Now, PLEASE, someone tell us what this is!!!

Is it really glass? Or what??

David and Lin

Comments for What kind of sea glass sticks to your tongue?

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Feb 28, 2020
I have tons of this!!!
by: Chelsey C.

Okay so I Googled the sentence "Seaglass that is sticky and opalescent" and your post was the first to come up. I’m so glad that anything even came up 😂
I have a fairly decent sized bag of this sticky sea glass.

There’s TONS of it on my local beach. Tons if you spend the time to look, I should say. Sometimes I’ll pick up a yellowish looking pieces and I’m not sure if it’s the sticky kind, so I lick my finger and then touch the piece and it’s very sticky.

I’ve totally put pieces in my mouth before if I’m trying to take a pic and want them to look glossy. I really wish I knew what it was! Some pieces look like precious gems - so opalescent.

I wish I could post a picture or send you one some how? I think you’d maybe be interested to see it all.

Whereabouts in the world did you find yours?

May 21, 2018
Sticky glass
by: Robert garfield

All the quality's that are in your sticky glass is exactly like the glass piece I found very sticky when wet mine is full of opalescence and is coated on all sides finished and broken in a golden yellow crystalization.

The piece I have is as big as my palm and absorbs a drop of water very fast I think it is hydrostatic in nature and looks extremely old ....mine also turns white on the surface when you wet it.

Does yours change color until it dries completely sometimes takes days to turn back.

Is a total mystery someone said it is a fresnal lens off a boat it looks like that or a warning light off a bridge.

Thanks for your comments and I will send you anything i discover.

Thanks again Robert garfield my comment was STICKY WHEN WET.

Jun 13, 2017
Fellow glass licking fool!
by: Michaela

I am a fellow glass licking fool that just discovered two of these pieces this weekend at Glass Beach in Port Townsend.

I'd love to know what they are and why it sticks!

Hi Michaela! Yeah, I have researched this and have never been able to find an answer. Port Townsend Glass Beach is the only place we've found it. Just hope it's not highly radioactive or something. I'm still alive though 7 years post licking. Lol

David at Odyssey Sea Glass

Aug 21, 2016
David at Oddyssey!
by: Dianne

Well, by golly! I guess I'm going to have to lick all my sea glass and see what happens! 😊

Aug 20, 2016
sticky glass
by: Shirley

Have you tried using black light to see if it is different from the other pieces?

Aug 18, 2016
Photo of glass?
by: Dianne

I can't seem to find the photo of the sticky glass.

I'd love too see what it looks like to check my glass and see if I've found any here in Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada!


Hi Dianne,

Both my main computer and my external hard drive crashed within a few days of each other and we lost a bunch of photos.

Among them was this sticky glass. We'll have to look through our inventory here but it might be in storage back in Washington.

Anyway, no photos at this time!

David at Odyssey

Aug 18, 2016
Sticky Glass
by: Madeline

I have found three pieces of this glass now, and I was just as curious as you. I asked North Beach Treasures on Facebook, and was happy to get an answer:

"Hi Madeline,

I do recognize this glass... I think of it as yellow "sticky glass." If you touch the tip of your tongue to it, it's almost like the glass "sticks" to you.

Over the years a number of glass experts have tried it ID this stuff-- it ranges from white to orange, and sometimes looks like it has "rust spots."

Most likely, it comes from decorative glass with a gold-ish iridescent surface created when the still hot/molten glass was sprayed with a solution of silver nitrate.

I think it's fairly old-- possibly used for perfume bottles and so-called "items of virtue" in the 1920's and 1930's.

It's pretty uncommon, as sea glass goes. There isn't really much you can "do" with it, as-- as you mentioned-- it behaves "strangely."

Hope that helps!"


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