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For the first time in 70 years, the occurrence of a 'lake ball' in Lake Michigan is here reported in the literature. According to a published system of classification, the object we collected in 1978 was a 'false' lake ball. Dissection revealed that it was colonized by 5 chironomid larvae and 162 oligochaetes. The species and numerical proportions of the oligochaetes indicated that it was formed in or near the mouth of a eutrophic tributary rather than in the open waters of Lake Michigan where it was found. Because of their mobility, false lake balls may be ecologically important, serving as natural vehicles for the dispersal of invertebrates.