Marine biologists at the University of California Santa Cruz report that a mysterious bacteria is killing starfish up and down the West Coast by literally turning them into piles of goo. Yuck! One biologist said “they essentially melt in front of you.” It’s like the Wicked Witch of the West. The affected animals first form white lesions that grow and occasionally turn ulcerous. They start losing arms here and there and then eventually just turn to plain ole goo. The disease is appropriately called star wasting syndrome and is thought to be caused by a bacterium. Although it isn’t a new disease, this year’s outbreak is an unprecedented epidemic.