'Freaking weird' find in woman's home creeps out Aussies

The disturbing orange growth has baffled the internet.

An Aussie renter has horrified social media after posting photos of a bizarre-looking orange matter that sprouted to life on her window sill. The woman sought advice on how to identify and rid her home of the unwanted growth and predictably got a mixed bag of responses.

"It's The Upside Down," one commenter joked, making a reference to the mysterious yet hellish alternate dimension which exists parallel to the human world in hit Netflix series Stranger Things.

Orange mould growing on window sill
The internet has been 'creeped' out by this strange find in an Aussie woman's home. Source: Facebook

"It's what I thought too when I first saw it... but please not in my house," the author replied with a laughing emoji. She added, "I was going around cleaning all windows and window sills and came across this. I've never seen this before."

While others said they were "creeped out" by the find, others offered a more practical assessment. One Facebook user said, "I had this recently, it means water has got in and the wood is rotting basically. My whole window frame had to get replaced — glass was nearly falling out when the builder checked it, because you could push your finger right through the wood. It was that bad."

Experts weigh in

According to Karl Coppen, special projects operational manager for MouldMen, the flame-coloured growth was likely of the fungal species and could have sat in the timber since construction, however access to moisture would allow it to spore, colonise and grow.

"When we see these kinds of growths, it's generally when there is a good chance of moisture," he told Yahoo News Australia. "The higher the moisture, the quicker something can spore like this."

He said fungal toxicity existed on a "spectrum", for instance "there is a lot of noise about black mould being particularly toxic and some of the dark moulds are more of a risk to health".

But, with 135,000 different varieties of mould, he said it would be hard to identify the risk factor without a specialist undertaking a lab analysis.

Hand in yellow rubber glove using sponge to clean mould on window sill
Mould is exacerbated by moisture and is more common in winter. Photo: Getty

Mr Coppen said condensation may have collected on the glass leading to moisture dripping down onto the window sill, there could be a break in the window's silicon seal or moisture could have travelled up from ground-level.

"We would want a solution not a prescription so we would want to identify the moisture source," he added.

Mr Coppen advised Aussies to ensure their homes were kept dry, free of moisture, had plenty of sunlight and good ventilation to prevent the growth of mould or fungi.

Warning to Aussies

Evolutionary biologist Dr Michael Whitehead, from the University of Melbourne, told Yahoo News Australia, "That is quite a remarkable growth! I've not seen anything quite like it."

"In general, fungi need some moisture to grow, so I would think there might be some humidity in those walls. The colour and form look like a fruiting body and fungi generally fruit when exposed to light and oxygen.

"As only a small growth, there wouldn't be many spores released into the room, so I wouldn't worry about health risks. But it is true that where one fungus grows, others are likely, so it would be worth checking for black moulds which can have some harmful health effects if in high abundance."

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