Tar is a viscous black liqui derived from the destructive distillation of organic matter. Most tar is produced from coal as a byproduct of coke production, but it can also be produced from petroleum, peat or wood.
Trivia about tar
If you've been beaten senseless, someone's "knocked" this gooey roofing material "out of you"
Loaded with juicy chemicals including phenols, it's the solid residue of burning tobacco
Dark, viscous material, or slang for a sailor
Docents at L.A.'s Page Museum are in a sticky situation-- "La Brea" means this substance in Spanish
(Jimmy of the Clue Crew reports from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark.) It is thought the Vikings preserved the wood on ships, and made it watertight, by painting the wood with this product, procured from pine trees