Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Real Dungeon Hazards: Snotties and Slime


Ooozes and slimes aren’t just the the subject of Gygaxian dungeoneering fancy. Interestingly, it appears they have some basis in subterranean fact. Ready for an introduction to the world of snotties, red goo, and green slime?

"Snotties" look like small stalactites, but have the texture of mucus and drip battery acid. They’re actually colonies extremophile archaebacteria that thrive in intense levels of atmospheric hydrogen sulfide produced by volcanism. They’ve only been found in a few places including Cueva de Villa Luz, southern Mexico, and Sulphur Cave in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.


Other unusual things have been uncovered in Cueva de Villa Luz by the self-styled SLIME (Subsurface Life In Mineral Environments) team. “Red goo” is an acidic (pH 3.9-2.5) breakdown product of clay, which also makes a home for bacteria. “Green slime” which may be decaying algal elements.

Sulphur Cave also sports the red worms which live off sulfur--the only such higher organism ever discovered residing on land.

4 comments:

biopunk said...

Liking these "inspiration" posts very much Trey!

TheGrumpyCelt said...

I'm... not certain to what make of this. I knew life is stranger than fiction, but something I wish it wasn't. Alert me if cube jellies show up.

Alexey said...

Not only is life stranger than fiction, it's also grosser than fiction. That might have merit as a new proverb.

Roger the GS said...

> "Snotties" look like small stalactites, but have the texture of mucus and drip battery acid.

Making them instantly cooler than piercers ever were.