Washington, July 17 (ANI): Huge blob of mysterious goo floating through the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic Ocean has baffled experts, who say the stuff might be biological.
The blob is thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department, told Anchorage Daily News.
Brower and other borough officials, joined by the US Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate.
The agencies found "globs" of the stuff floating miles offshore and collected samples for testing.
Later, according to Brower, the North Slope team, in a borough helicopter, spotted a long strand of the stuff and followed it for about 15 miles, shooting video from the air.
The next day, the floating substance arrived offshore from Barrow, about 90 miles east of Wainwright, and borough officials went out in boats, collected more samples and sent them off for testing too.
Nobody knows for sure what the gunk is, but according to Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer, the Coast Guard is sure what it is not.
"It's certainly biological. It's definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristics of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter," Hasenauer said.
"It's definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it's some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism," he added.
The stuff is "gooey" and looks dark against the bright white ice floating in the Arctic Ocean.
"It's pitch black when it hits ice and it kind of discolors the ice and hangs off of it," Brower said.
He saw some jellyfish tangled up in the stuff, and someone turned in what was left of a dead goose to the borough's wildlife department.
"It kind of has an odor; I can't describe it," he said.
Hasenauer said he hasn't heard any reports of waterfowl or marine animals turning up.
According to Brower, it wouldn't necessarily surprise him if the substance turns out to be some sort of naturally occurring phenomenon.
"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," he said. (ANI)