Alien life?
September 3, 2011 5:25 PM   Subscribe

What are these strange things growing on my bicycle spoke?!
posted by TheCoug to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
Best answer: Lacewing eggs?
posted by hattifattener at 5:31 PM on September 3, 2011

Those look like fungal spores, to my eyes, ready to be ejected.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:31 PM on September 3, 2011

Best answer: (Lacewings previously)
posted by hattifattener at 5:34 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think it may be a type of moss.
posted by aryma at 6:44 PM on September 3, 2011

Heh. There was a recent news story about similar things found growing on a Korean (?) window. They were identified as udumbara flowers, which bloom every thousand years.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:18 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

This may help you figure out the difference between lacewing and udumbara.
posted by avidreader at 4:51 AM on September 4, 2011

Just in case someone's confused about the "udumbara flowers" reference... From one of the links [emphasis added]:

"According to the Buddhist scriptures, Udumbara is an imaginary flower ..."

These aren't moss, as moss is a chlorophyllic plant. They may be fungal, but they look more like slime mold reproductive bodies to me, or egg cases of a small insect (lacewing, perhaps, but IDRK).
posted by IAmBroom at 6:33 PM on September 4, 2011

BTW: since I can't see any other organism parts from which these "sprout" (mold layer or fungal mycelia), I'd probably go with insect egg cases.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:34 PM on September 4, 2011

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