A new god has risen, and his name is Mr. Yeasty. But he’s probably not 100 percent yeast.
In less than a week, Mr. Yeasty went from a forgotten scrap of kitchen trash to a full-on viral deity. On July 14, redditor adun-d posted a photograph in the r/WTF subreddit that looked like a massive pale worm in a bottle of iced tea. The caption read: “Something is growing inside a bottle of natural orange juice I abandoned inside a cabinet for over a year.”
The thread took off, and as of this article’s publication, it has over 38,000 upvotes and a near-endless string of replies, much of it speculation about what Mr. Yeasty actually is. Riding the wave of enthusiasm, adun-d named the object Thanos, after the Marvel villain, though he’s since changed the name to Mr. Yeasty. The day after the initial post, adun-d, whose real name is Ehsan, posted a video of himself breaking open the bottle to free the blob. Now, he moderates the 16,000-subscriber r/MrYeasty subreddit, devoted to the mystery and the madness.
In conversations with Ehsan and microbiology experts, Inverse attempted to get to the bottom of Mr. Yeasty’s origins.
However murky his origins may be, we can be sure that Mr. Yeasty didn’t just arise from the juice spontaneously. Life, however tiny or incomprehensible, must start somewhere. For his part, Rowley suspects that Ehsan didn’t properly sterilize the bottles, which Ehsan confirms.
“That bottle was not sterilized in any way lol, homemade by locals or myself,” he says. “I usually see some sediment in the bottom of these bottles, but nothing like this.”
The general consensus among members of r/whatisthisthing is more in line with Ellison’s SCOBY theory, but as Rowley points out, none of these hypotheses can be confirmed without scientific instruments.
“If he really wants to know what it is, he’ll have to go and have a look at it under a microscope. If the structure is made of threadlike appendages, then it’ll probably be more like a filamentous fungus, but it could be something else,” he says. “I’d encourage him to find somebody with a microscope.”
Given the dedication Ehsan has showed toward Mr. Yeasty, it seems likely that doing so is a possibility. We will update this article if we get that opportunity.