My hometown, along with a significant chunk of the southern half of the UK, was hit by a severe storm recently. I started a thread on that subject
before the event, and continued to post all the way through. After the event however, I detected something odd. Some copy and paste follows:
I have discovered something which might be of interest to those who appreciate the odd little details of life. When we came down to open the shop up
this morning, the sun was shining strongly, and illuminated the state of the shop window, which appeared to be covered in a dusty looking
Now, whatever this stuff is, it was not there before the storm hit, so one must assume that it was the storm which placed it there. I wiped at it, to
see if it would come off without some sort of detergent assistance, and it streaked, like this:
This was a surprise to me, because as I mentioned, the substance appeared to be dusty particulate, rather than greasy, and yet there it was. A greasy
substance then, which appears to be full of particles of something or another. I decided a closer inspection was in order, so I picked up a jewelers
And observed the window through it. Sure enough, it revealed that whatever the greasy component may have been, there were several different sizes and
colours of particles represented. Most of them appeared to be whitish in colour, but some appeared to be a light brown. I did my best to take a
photograph of this, by placing the eyeglass over the camera lens, and this was the resulting shot:
Zooming this image a bit will reveal that not all the specks are actually white by the way. I know it is not plain from the un-zoomed image I have
posted, but perhaps members would care to zoom for themselves, if indeed that proves possible.
I was somewhat interested by all of this, so I thought to myself that it might be an idea to check if other shops and buildings along my road had a
similar coating, and lo and behold, the stuff is everywhere. Now then, we come to a point where some speculation is in order. I suggest that it is
possible that some of these white specks will be salt, some will be silica, and the brown specks, I think, could be oil, which would explain the
greasiness of the residue on the window.
This storm after all, was born in a crucible which is located not all that far from the BP Deep Water Horizon fiasco's origin point, so is it
possible that the greasy residue is gulf oil, carried by the storm across the open water, and plastered all over my neighborhood?
Just a thought. I am going to contact the environment agency, and ask them about the possible causes of this greasy substance in any case. I have
heard of many cases where storms have left dust, sand, mud, and a plethora of other coatings on things they have passed over, but this particular
residue? Any thoughts people?
Copy paste ends.
Since making that discovery, and after consulting both the Environment Agency, and some members on the original thread, I thought that two things
needed to happen. First and most importantly, I took some samples, and not just one or two, but six swabs off my window. I put them in sample jars,
purchased at the pharmacy across the street from me (which by the way, was also coated in this junk, whatever it turns out to be.
The next step, will be figuring out which agencies, universities and other organisations, might want to run these things through a lab. I hope that I
can find somewhere to send these where they will be useful to whomever receives them. The environment agency fellow that I spoke to on the phone
sounded befuddled, and did not ask for samples. He just told me that nothing like this had been reported to the agency from anywhere else.
Tomorrow is my day off, so I am going to go to the local museum (which is staffed by some very awesome people who have always supported my every
intellectual endeavor when I have asked it of them), to ask them if they know of anyone who might be able to take a look for me, at just what the heck
this stuff is. I will take my camera, and my samples with me. I will also ask them, if they have no contacts on premises, if they know anyone local
who could look my material over.
For completeness sake, heres the old thread:
If any members have some idea as to what, precisely this stuff is, have seen anything like it before, or know people who have access to armies of
laboratory gremlins, then please get in this thread people!