Feeds

Mysterious organic blobs found in Alaskan waters

Everyone out of the pool

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
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.
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.