Woops! The mysterious orange goo that washed ashore a tiny Alaskan village a few weeks ago turns out to be fungal spores, not microscopic eggs, as scientists at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration originally believed. The strange orange substance was sent off to a NOAA lab in South Carolina for further testing after the initial results from the Juneau laboratory were released.
“At this point, the best identification we can give to as the origin of these spores is a rust fungus,” said Steve Morton, Ph.D., who works at the NOAA lab in Charleston, S.C. “The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined; however, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have yet to be identified.”
We’ll keep you updated as we get more information.