It has been found sporadically near the Aleutian Islands, between the Philippines and Marianne Islands and to the south of the Galapagos group. It is made up to a large extent of the siliceous frustules of diatoms. It is usually yellowish-grey and often straw-coloured when wet, though when dried it becomes white and mealy.
Thin straw-coloured paper, such as is used for biscuit bags, may be conveniently employed by travellers unable to carry a quantity of bibulous paper.
The oil when brought to the surface has the appearance of a whitish-blue water, which gives out brilliant straw-coloured rays, and emits a strong pungent odour.
Some of the feathers of the straw-coloured throat and cheeks partake of the same structure, but in a less degree, while the subterminal part of the lamina is of a lustrous pearly-white.