Mystery Orange Goo in Alaska Identified as Microscopic Eggs

Posted on August 8, 2011

Mystery Orange Goo Alaska


The mystery orange goo that washed ashore last week near the village of Kivalina, Alaska has been identified as microscopic eggs. The inital theories were that it was an algae or something from the nearby zinc mine.

NOAA Fisheries says it believes the substance is tiny eggs.

Jeep Rice, a lead NOAA scientist at the Juneau lab, says, "We now think these are some sort of small crustacean egg or embryo, with a lipid oil droplet in the middle causing the orange color. So this is natural. It is not chemical pollution; it is not a man-made substance."

The eggs are natural, but they could still be toxic. Samples have been sent to a NOAA lab on the east coast for additional testing.

Update 8-19-11: Discovery reports that scientists now think the mystery goo is spores from an unidentified species of rust fungus.

Photo: NOAA