Mysterious Orange Goo on Alaskan Shores Turns Out to Be Possibly Toxic Fish Eggs


Photo: Quinn Dombrowski under a Creative Commons license.

This one sounds like the beginning of a B movie- last week, the residents of Kivalina, Alaska were surprised to find a mysterious orange goo washing up on their shores. It was determined that the goo was neither man-made nor petroleum based, and it soon dried up and blew away in the wind. So what was the goo, and how did it end up on Alaskan shores? Turns out it was a mass of microscopic fish eggs- which actually raises more questions than it answers.Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that while they've confirmed that the goo is fish eggs, they don't know what species laid them. Their best guess is some sort of crustacean, and they can't rule out that the eggs aren't toxic, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

There's been at least one report of dead minnows found in the lagoon of the village the night the eggs appeared last week. Residents also are worried about the community's dwindling reserves in village water tanks even though the orange mass has dissipated from the lagoon and the Wulik River, said city administrator Janet Mitchell.

The very strange part is that the eggs didn't just wash up from the local river and lagoon; they also turned up in residents' rain buckets and on one roof. Nothing like this has ever been seen before in the area. NOAA spokesperson Julie Speegle said that they will never know exactly why the eggs showed up when they did. The plot of this B movie has thickened.

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