A mysterious orange-colored goo has washed up on the shore of a northwestern village in Alaska this week.
Residents of Kivalina woke up to an orange sheen across the surface of a nearby lagoon just a few feet from their houses. They also found clumps of the substance on the beach, said city manager Janet Mitchell. To their surprise, the substance also showed up in some of the residents' rain buckets.
Tests conducted on the substance revealed that it was neither man-made nor a petroleum substance. An expert on algae from the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been requested to investigate further into the origin of this goo.
The state Environmental Health Laboratory is preparing to send samples to scientists at various labs, including a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Juneau, said Emanuel Hignutt, the EHL's analytical chemistry manager, according to a CNN report.
The origins of the substance have officials stumped. However, Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosely told news agency KTUU that initial tests indicated that the substance is of natural origin.
The substance had a "bay oil" like feel to it and was odorless, resident Mida Swan said. It was also found in the Wulik River, which flows into the lagoon and is a source of drinking water for the villagers. Villagers have suspended storing water from the river till the scientists determine what exactly the material is.
Meanwhile, online community is surprised when the goo was linked to aliens. One blogger wrote: "If I lived there, I'd want this mystery solved ASAP. Because, let's face it, the longer we let this alien larvae sit there, the closer we get to extraterrestrial takeover!"