Orange Goo in Alaska Identified

It's some kind of eggs ... that may or may not be toxic

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 8, 2011 7:18 PM CDT | Updated Aug 13, 2011 7:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – We have a partial answer to the orange goo that started washing up in Alaska last week, and it's definitely not the secret to John Boehner's perma-tan. It's eggs—millions of tiny eggs filled with fatty droplets, reports the AP. Exactly what kind of eggs—or whether they're toxic—has yet to be determined, according to NOAA, which ran the initial tests. The eggs, which appeared in a lagoon and river near the tiny village of Kivalina, have since dissipated.

"It seems to be all gone," says a village official. "But if they're microscopic eggs, who's to say they're not still in the river?" The orange goo, which turned powdery when dried, was pervasive, showing up on one roof and in rainwater buckets. "You couldn't miss it for nothing," says one resident. Further tests are pending.

This Aug. 6, 2011 photo shows a magnified close up of orange gunk. Samples were collected last week in the remote village of Kivalina, and were determined to be some kind of microscopic eggs.
This Aug. 6, 2011 photo shows a magnified close up of orange gunk. Samples were collected last week in the remote village of Kivalina, and were determined to be some kind of microscopic eggs.   (AP Photo/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Mandy Lindeberg)
In this Aug. 5, 2011, photo, samples of orange goo in Anchorage.
In this Aug. 5, 2011, photo, samples of orange goo in Anchorage.   (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
In this Aug. 5, 2011, photo, Emmanuel Hignutt with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation health lab shows samples of orange goo in Anchorage.
In this Aug. 5, 2011, photo, Emmanuel Hignutt with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation health lab shows samples of orange goo in Anchorage.   (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
This Aug. 3, 2011, photo provided by Mida Swan shows an orange colored substance that washed ashore in the village of Kivalina, Alaska, a village on the state’s northwest coast.
This Aug. 3, 2011, photo provided by Mida Swan shows an orange colored substance that washed ashore in the village of Kivalina, Alaska, a village on the state’s northwest coast.   (AP Photo/Mida Swan)
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