Massive biological slime/algae found floating in the Arctic

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Massive biological slime/algae found floating in the Arctic

Is biological slime/algae , the most primitive organism, starting to recapture the worlds oceans? Its been predicted for years. Biological spawns have been recorded elsewhere, now something big and strange is floating through the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow.

Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It's thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department.

Brower and other borough officials, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate. The agencies found "globs" of the stuff floating miles offshore Friday and collected samples for testing.

Later, Brower said, 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 Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer says the Coast Guard is sure what it is not.
... Quote:
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.

It's definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it's some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism.


Something else: No one in Barrow or Wainwright can remember seeing anything like this before, Brower said.
... Quote:
That's one of the reasons we went out, because in recent history I don't think we've seen anything like this. Maybe inside lakes or in stagnant water or something, but not (in the ocean) that we could recall ...

If it was something we'd seen before, we'd be able to say something about it. But we haven't ...which prompted concerns from the local hunters and whaling captains.

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. It kind of has an odor; I can't describe 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.
He saw some jellyfish tangled up in the stuff, and someone turned in what was left of a dead goose -- just bones and feathers -- to the borough's wildlife department.

Brower said it wouldn't necessarily surprise him if the substance turns out to be some sort of naturally occurring phenomenon, but the borough is waiting until it gets the analysis back from the samples before officials say anything more than they're not sure what it is.

Hasenauer said the Coast Guard's samples are being analyzed in Anchorage. Results may be back sometime next week, he said.

The two Coast Guard experts sent up to overfly the area with the borough said they saw nothing that resembled an oil slick, Hasenauer said.
... Quote:
We brought back one sample of what they believe to be an algae," he said, and a big algae bloom is one possibility.

It's textbook for us to consider algae because of all the false reports of oil spills we've had in the past. It's one of the things that typically comes up" when a report turns out not to be an oil spill after all. There's all types of natural phenomena that it could be.


 http://www.adn.com/2835/sto...

biological-goo.jpg - 30.99kb
By netchicken: posted on 16-7-2009

Solved! Just as I thought it was a stringy batch of algae. "We got the results back from the lab today," said Ed Meggert of the Department of Environmental Conservation in Fairbanks. "It was marine algae."

Miles of the thick, dark gunk had been spotted floating between Barrow and Wainwright, prompting North Slope Borough officials and the Coast Guard to investigate last week. A sample was sent to a DEC lab in Anchorage, where workers looked at it under a microscope and declared it some kind of simple plant -- an algae, Meggert said.

"You'll find these kind of algae grow in areas that are shallow enough that light can get to the bottom ... If you had a rocky area along the coast, you could have this type of algae."

It could have been discharged from a river, he said, flushed out by runoff from spring breakup and melting ice. But that's just speculation, he warned.

More on the link http://www.adn.com/news/ala...
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2009








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