The Mysterious Orange Goo that washed the shores of Alaska and raised serious concerns of environmental issue has been concluded to be a mass of crustacean eggs or embryos, government scientists said on Monday.
What is Crustacean eggs?
Crustacean refers to predominantly aquatic arthropods of the class Crustacea, including lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and barnacles, characteristically having a segmented body, a chitinous exoskeleton, and paired, jointed limbs.
Tests of a sample sent by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation produced the results, officials at a laboratory belonging to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Alaska Fisheries Service Center said.
“We now think these are some sort of small crustacean egg or embryo, with the lipid oil droplet in the middle causing the orange color,” Jeep Rice, a lead scientist at the Juneau laboratory, said in a news release.
“So this is natural. It is not chemical pollution; it is not a man-made substance,” Rice said.
Last week’s appearance of the orange substance in the Alaska village of Kivalina initially baffled villagers and experts.
Residents of the Inupiat Eskimo village on Alaska’s northwest coast said they had never seen anything like it before, and U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska environmental officials examined it and determined that it was not a petroleum product or other known pollutant.
The material is sticky, but becomes a powder when dried, said Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman for NOAA’s Fisheries Service in Alaska.
Scientists who made the preliminary identification are confident that they are correct, Speegle said.
“I would say we’re pretty darn sure that they’re microscopic eggs,” she said. “We just don’t know what species.”
To get a more precise identification, Speegle said, scientists at the Auke Bay lab have sent samples to NOAA’s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, South Carolina.
“As soon as they receive a sample, they will be doing a more in-depth analysis,” she said.
Great God! The Orange Goo mystery is resolved!