Scientists are investigating a mysterious orange goo that washed ashore in the remote Alaskan village of Kivalina last week. The neon-coloured substance first appeared in the town’s harbor and was also seen floating on top of buckets used to collect rainwater, following a downpour.
Most of the the orange matter dissipated a couple days later, but it left behind a powdery residue that still has locals worried the material could be toxic.
One resident noted that the foreign gunk had a sheen to it that looked like oil, but the local coast guard has ruled out the possibility the substance is petroleum-based or man-made and is working on a theory that it could be a strange species of algae, according to The Independent.
Researchers are still waiting on lab results from samples of the tangerine substance that were sent to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in South Carolina for testing.
Meanwhile, residents of the tiny Inupiat Eskimo outpost are being advised to boil drinking water and keep children away from the substance.