A gigantic smear of gooey, black biological material is making its way through the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow in Northern Alaska. Eyewitnesses say it's definitely a living entity, though unlike anything they've seen before. Closeup shot below.
The blob was first spotted last week, floating in Arctic waters. Big chunks of it - some as much as "12 miles long," according to the Anchorage Daily News, are drifting through the sea. A helicopter tracked the spread of the goop for 15 miles and saw no end to it. So far, none of unknown substance has touched shore.
Coast Guard officer Terry Hasenauer said:
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. 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. [The stuff is] gooey [and dark]. 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.
Apparently he saw jellyfish tangled in the goo, and somebody else retrieved bones and feathers from a dead goose they found in the goo as well.
Is this the creature described in io9's mad scientist contest from last year? Perhaps a relative of the North Carolina sewer monster? Or is it just a massive algae bloom? The Coast Guard says they're getting it examined and test results will be back in a week.