JUNEAU, AK – Officials have been unable to identify large patches of mysterious black goo that were found off the coast of Alaska this week.
It is believed to have first been spotted by hunters last week, who notified authorities. Officials flew out to find patches of it floating offshore of the town Wainwright, from which they collected samples for testing. It has since been spotted 90 miles east near the town of Barrow.
Coast Guard officers are confirming it is definitely not oil, despite it’s similar consistency and color. Said Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer, “It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it’s some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism.”
Gordon Brower of the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department described it: “From the air it looks brownish with some sheen, but when you get close and put it up on the ice and in the bucket, it’s kind of blackish stuff… and has hairy strands on it.”
Brower said he had seen jellyfish caught in it, and someone turned in the remains of a dead goose – just bones and feathers – to the borough’s wildlife department.
Test results should help identify the goo next week – or confirm that it is something science has never seen before!
Skip through to 0:30 to see video of the black goo: