Paintball

An oblong sphere that appears black in transmitted light is shown in the image gallergy.  The shape of this particle is indicative of an aerosol droplet of wet spray paint when it lands on a fiber.  Once in contact with the fiber, the spherical shape of the wet paint aerosol is distorted by capillary action, which results in the periphery of the droplet being drawn along the length of the fiber to form a “football.”  This unusual morphology, which was observed by Skip Palenik on the self-painted headliner of a vehicle owned by Booker T. Hillary, played a key role in his conviction and re-conviction (Forensic Files 2003).

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