Mystery of orange goo in Alaska discovered unraveled


08/03/2012

The origin of the strange orange goo, whose appearance raised eyebrows residents a remote village in Alaska, and has attracted the attention of the world last year, it was finally established scientists. Despite various theories and assumptions of experts that hit the Internet, by its nature, the substance was neither toxic nor foreign. But what it really was, until now no one knew for sure.

Employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was first assumed that the mysterious sticky substance was created millions of small crustacean egg with a liquid oil, which could be seen through the transparent egg sacs, forming an interesting orange color. In another study, researchers gave a new explanation of the sticky mass, saying that in fact it was the fungus spores, called rust (Uredinalis) because of its distinctive orange color. Nevertheless, the number and location was not typical for this type of fungi, and have never before been observed scientists.

But part of the puzzle remained unsolved: the researchers were not able to achieve a positive result in the identification of the exact species of rust fungus, a sample that they tested did not meet any of the compared samples, and none of those that were typical of the area. What could it mean?

And it could mean that the sticky part was unusual in some way a new species of rust fungus. Or sample was not at all unknown, but just did not coincide with any of the samples in the database NOAA. In the end, NOAA office specializes in the study of the oceans and atmosphere, not fungal microbes. For this was necessary mycologist - a botanist who specializes in fungi. As a result, the final identification was performed by specialists Forest Services of America and Canada.

Researcher Jennifer Fraser (Jennifer Frazer), who took part in the identification of goo, the true results released by publishing a strange story, "Artful Amoeba" in the popular science magazine Scientific American. In it she said that the secret was finally revealed: ’version of rust fungus was confirmed. This was the kind of parasite Chrysomyxa ledicola, which affects both conifers and rhododendrons - a sort of evergreen flowering plants in the family Ericaceae - called Labrador tea. "

This is not the first time that the millions of tiny creatures are inscrutable mystery to scientists. So, in 2010, a bizarre brown-yellow blob size of 1.2 meters found in a lake in Virginia, has caused public unrest and was the main topic of all news TV channels. Some thought it was a monster, others have seen in a strange alien creature or even props film industry. It turned out that the mysterious drop of water curved shape, which resembles a sticky mass, found in Alaska, it bryozoans (bryozoan) - colony of tiny animals that feed on algae.

It is not entirely clear why the fungus and bryozoans in both cases appear in such large numbers, but there is no doubt that they are completely natural beings.

Original: LiveScience com


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