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Posted Tue Aug 24 2010: from Alabama Press-Register, via DesdemonaDespair:
Mysterious material washing ashore in Alabama not oil, scientists say
Scientists are intrigued by the heavy sheen and persistent clouds of dingy brown water washing up in pockets from Perdido Pass to Petit Bois Island since July.... The residue is not oil, according to chemical analysis. But it probably used to be.... "It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. It's got some hydrocarbons in it, but it does not match the oil from the Deepwater Horizon," Overton said, adding that he has received samples collected by federal officials in other places that appear similar. "I have to think it is biological in origin."... "At some level, somebody better define oil. This three letter word is starting to get pretty complicated," Graham said. "Are we looking at the remnants of oil, of oil that has been worked over by the microbial community? The microbes take what they can, then just leave the parts they can't eat. That's likely happening out there on a microscopic level. I'd speculate that's what we are seeing."
[Read more stories about: oil issues, toxic water]

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