Feeds

Mysterious organic blobs found in Alaskan waters

Everyone out of the pool

Top three mobile application threats

Enormous blobs of thick, black, gooey biological material have been spotted drifting in the waters off Alaska's northern coast, and nobody is quite sure what they are.

Alaskan hunters first noticed the ooze early last week drifting miles offshore in the frigid arctic waters of the Chuckchi Sea, according to Anchorage Daily News. Local officials and the US Coast Guard flew in to investigate, and residents say they can't remember seeing anything like it before.

Image courtesy North Slope Borough

The mystery goo is blackish-brown, has hairy strands in it, and gives off an unusual odor, ADN reports. Officials from Alaska's North Slope Borough say they took a helicopter team to examine the goop from the air and saw a strand stretching nearly 15 miles long.

"It's certainly biological," US Coast Guard representative Terry Hasenauer told the paper. "It's definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristic of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter.

"It's definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it's some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism."

The Coast Guard's samples are being analyzed in Anchorage and results should be back next week, Hasenauer said. In the meantime, they're sticking to the story that it's probably some sort of algae and disappointingly not a creature from outer space bent on eating a small town in Pennsylvania.

"It's textbook for us to consider algae because of all the false reports of oil spills we've had in the past. It's one of the things that typically comes up when a report turns out not to be an oil spill after all," Hasenauer told ADN - but added, "there's all types of natural phenomena that it could be."

In the meantime, the substance appears to be staying away from shore for the most part and keeping its body count at a minimum. Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department told the paper he saw some jellyfish tangled up in the goo and someone else retrieved bones and feathers from a dead goose.

"If it was something we'd seen before, we'd be able to say something about it," Brower said to the paper. "But we haven't... which prompted concerns from the local hunters and whaling captains." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.