The Mysterious Black Goo of Venezuela – La Mancha Negra
The Mysterious Black Goo of Venezuela – La Mancha Negra

First appearing in 1986 on a highway between
the city of Caracas and its airport, La Mancha Negra, meaning literally a black stain, began
as an approximately 50-yard (46 meter) long smudge, seen by highway workers who were resurfacing
the road with asphalt concrete. Ultimately the spot grew to cover about an
8 mile (13 km) stretch. In 1991 it was widely reported that the slippery
goo had caused over 1,800 deaths and countless other injuries. So what is it and is it still there today? Many hypotheses have been proposed over the
years as to the cause of La Mancha Negra, such as that it’s the result of raw sewage
from slums that line the road, with the idea being the sewage runs downhill and under the
asphalt where it mixes with the compounds in the road, breaking it down and producing
the slippery, chewing gum like substance. Another popular theory is that oil and other
fluids from old, rickety cars produce the goo when mixed with the dust of the roadway. Conspiracy theorists proposed it’s an intentional,
regular sabotage by certain political powers to turn the public against the government
leaders. Authorities reportedly tried a number of remedies
in the mid-1990s to remove the goo, including pressure washing it with detergents and simply
scraping the goo off in layers. All attempts to get rid of the substance were
reportedly in vain, though it’s noted that each attempt made a hefty profit for the company
in charge of the removal of the substance and there was some question as to how hard
they were actually trying. As a last ditch effort, authorities finally
decided to dump pulverized limestone on the goo to “dry it up”. It seemed to work for a while, although it
produced an unwanted consequence – the limestone was so dusty that it supposedly severely hurt
the air quality along the road for local residents for a while after application. So what’s the real cause of La Mancha Negra? It was widely reported at the time that authorities
spent “millions” trying to figure out what the substance was, but this doesn’t
seem credible. While it is possible that millions of government
funds disappeared in the name of solving the problem (given the rampant corruption in the
Venezuelan government at the time), no direct evidence of any such studies seems to exist
anywhere. Further, if any studies were done, it would
not have been expensive or difficult to determine if the substance was the result of some sort
of asphalt / human excrement mixing. It likewise would have been equally simple
and cheap to determine if it was car oil mixed with dust or the like or any number of other
likely substances. The widespread report of “1,800 deaths”
caused by the slippery road have also never been substantiated by a credible, direct source. One would think that an eight mile stretch
of road covered in a slippery substance would have a higher rate of car accidents than a
normal road, but 1,800 deaths between 1986 and 1991 over that short stretch of road that
everyone knows is extremely slippery? That’s an average of about one death per
day. Even if the road was literally covered with
ice, this would still be a questionably high number. Lacking any actual evidence to support the
claim, and the news media wont to exaggerate such figures, color me skeptical. Further lacking anyone bothering to study
the substance, the two most plausible causes of La Mancha Negra are, first, that it’s
just natural asphalt/bitumen seepage. You see, Caracas lies next to the Orinoco
Belt, which contains one of the world’s largest deposits of petroleum. Such seepages are not unheard of in the region-
for instance at the asphalt lake, Lake Bermudez, in Venezuela, where oil seeps to the surface
and becomes asphaltic thanks to good conditions for oil-metabolizing bacteria to thrive. The second, perhaps even more plausible, hypothesis
is that the La Mancha Negra phenomenon is simply the result of using poorly mixed asphalt
concrete when constructing the road. This second hypothesis is supported by the
fact that the goo in question seems to have the properties of tar (chewing gum consistency,
but quite slick in certain conditions) and that the problem gets much worse on hot days
and goes the other way on cool days. This same phenomenon is commonly seen with
improperly mixed asphalt, generally when too much asphalt is mixed in with the aggregate. It’s also noted that the seepage only occurs
directly along that narrow stretch of road (making the natural seepage hypothesis less
likely) and that the road was resurfaced with asphalt concrete immediately before the problem
first appeared… Putting two and two together here doesn’t
exactly seem like rocket surgery, but news reports with titles like “Mysterious, Deadly
Goo Kills 1,800 in Venezuela” sound a lot better than “Road Crew in Venezuela Do Crappy
Job on Eight Mile Stretch of Road.” Further, although the phenomenon of La Mancha
Negra is widely reported as still existing today and reported as still being very much
a mystery, all such modern reports I could find use the original news stories from the
early 1990s as their sources. There seem to be no further direct reports
after this or other indication that La Mancha Negra still exists along the road in question
today. (For what it’s worth, a simple Google Maps
satellite view of the strip in question also seems to indicate the road has been replaced
sometime since then and there is no visual sign that any part of the highway is different
than the highway before or after the supposed “black stain” stretch.) Given the lack of news reports of this still
being an issue (at least that I could find; if you happen to be from Caracas and can provide
more insight please do in the comments below; Google Translate can only get you so far when
looking for news reports in a language you don’t speak :-)), it seems likely from the
limited data we have that improperly mixed asphalt used in resurfacing the road in 1986
caused the problem. And as for the fantastical claims of that
it’s a “substance humans can’t identify,” this is more than likely simply because humans
never tried.

100 thoughts on “The Mysterious Black Goo of Venezuela – La Mancha Negra”

  1. babyrazor says:

    I work for a paving company and yes someone made a mistake in the asphalt mixture when it was paved. mystery solved

  2. Kknown Unkknown says:

    it’s oil they need freedom

  3. Homefront says:

    How abou my white goo?

  4. Homefront says:

    Asphalt and Concrete are completely different Bro

  5. Justin 355 says:

    "Litterally coverd in ice" My city last week when it was -25c. Today it was wet and +4c. Go winnipeg. (coldest day is like -40 – – 45C with windchill, and plus 40+ C in the summer at its hottest with the humitity.)

  6. Eddy Burrell says:

    You make shit boring asf

  7. Angela Gonzalez says:

    they should have just repaved the road and be done with it

  8. Østbye Jarl Fang Ø says:

    Corrupt at the time
    >at the time
    >implying venezuela aint that now
    Vey-sauce made a joke, i think…?

  9. Alexis N. says:

    I watch your videos because I like the informative nature and your presentation style, but I have to admit that beard and that chest hair really makes it an even better experience 😉
    Sorry for the inappropriate comment but it's been tucked away for a long time now.

  10. Robert Tommer says:

    This is a pretty good example of how a phenomena persists because it's more interesting than the real explanation.

  11. Octavio Villegas says:

    Supposedly it was people dumping grease on the road. We never knew, for sure, but it is not happening again. The millions spent to "solve" it gone to another "Black Hole", of corruption, of course. The theory that says that they used poor materials to build the road is the most likely answer; nothing new under our Venezuelan sun.

  12. Emperor Hirohito says:

    It’s all the tar in smokers lungs 😂

  13. Warren Peace says:

    I ran out of breath just listening to those long sentences

  14. Skyler Hamblin says:

    Give this man an American accent and he would be just another shmuck lolol.

  15. RyuDarragh says:

    Looks like coal, or fly ash mixed with water.

  16. will g says:

    must have been a conspiracy theory. . . .

  17. Steven Davis says:

    No balls

  18. J G says:

    caption says rocket surgery. disappointed he speaks rocket science

  19. J Borcz says:

    Really? 6:40 just to say it’s an internet hoax based on an article from 1986?

  20. Thomas Mobley says:

    It cost millions because Venezuela is too poor to spend billions on it. Heck, if that stuff showed up in America it would cost tens of billions. We have more money to waste and, like everyone else, we measure how serious government is about fixing any problem by how much money it throws at the problem.

  21. Mr Scratch says:

    What? Corruption in a democratic socialist government? No way!!!

  22. Jeff Walker says:

    My youtube activity: come across a video making claims of mysterious events. Watch video. Make search of topic. Find a Today I Found Out video debunking first video – TIFO actually research the subject.

  23. Storm Blessed says:

    Mucho bueno. Ir al baño

  24. Ted Cameron says:

    What does the saying "colour me skeptical" mean really and also where did it come from, and no comments like from England lol, not what I meant :~)

  25. Daniel Mcleod says:

    Rapid corruption in the Venezuelan government at the time? It's still there. Wtf are talking about.

  26. iskandartaib says:

    When I read "Venezuela" and "black goo" I immediately thought "petroleum seep".  The petroleum that is produced in Venezuela is more of a tar, very viscous, and would therefore be a "goo". Even if it wasn't, petroleum that makes it to the surface gets degraded by bacteria and becomes thick and gooey. However, after watching the video to the end I'd agree with the conclusion that it was a bad road job.

  27. CNN Blackmail Support says:

    Limestone dust is RIDICULOUSLY dangerous. What a horrible idea.

  28. LetoZeth says:

    Aww, I was hoping for something far sinister.

  29. Hl_scientist says:

    omg unbutton your shirt

  30. Eugene InLaw says:

    these stains on asphalt appear regularly here in Ukraine during very hot weather. it's just shitty asphalt breaking down, nothing unusual

  31. Jared Willebeek-LeMair says:

    This video is part of the conspiracy

  32. Choppytehbear1337 says:

    Someone get a mass spectrometer.

  33. Butter Johnson says:

    It IS my SOUL
    Papa Roach plays

  34. Today I Found Out says:

    Now that you know all about La Mancha Negra check out this video and find out about How Soap Works:

  35. James H says:

    There is a really interesting effect happening with his glasses and the green screen. Whenever he turns his head the edge of the glasses disappear

  36. WillN2Go1 says:

    Another example of Far Away or Long Ago, or collectively Difficult to Confirm; except the internet is making this stuff more transparent. My students collectively confirmed that without a doubt, Area 51 was removed from Google Earth, that you will definitely be shot, killed and disappeared if you tried to go there, and…. Okay, Google Maps search box, Area 51….. But why spoil all the fun. I was describing a very old man I'd met on the trail a week before, piercing pale blue eyes. He was also several miles up a trail. He just started talking to me when I climbed up to the trail he was on, telling me about once having been lost up there on a moonless night. That night was going to be moonless… my wife, dog and I got lost, ran out of water and had to spend the night up there. The ranger said, "That's sounds like Old Jimmy, but he's been dead for a few years, I wonder who it could've been…." It wasn't at all important to figure it out, so I said, "If we stop now we've got a good ghost story…" (Of course I don't believe in ghosts but if there's no harm….)


    I'm waiting for someone to theorize that it was an ET's spunk or a bowel movement. 😄

  38. Erium says:

    It was the creature from The Raft

  39. QuantumRift says:

    That black goo is the swamp of socialism.

  40. Kitana Kojima says:


  41. Chris Hutchins says:

    It's socialism in it's purest form.

  42. Bargain Barons says: ??????
    You guys posting duplicate videos on multiple channels???? WHY!?

  43. Ana Victoria Morales says:

    "Rampant corruption of the government at the time". As a Venezuelan I can confirm, but let me tell you it pales by comparison with the current "Boliburgués" corruption of the narco-dictatorship running the country nowadays.

  44. Riicho Bamin says:

    Did they try to GCMS it ?

  45. jeff archibald says:

    It's the spirit of the Venezuelan people after being road killed by socialism.

  46. Woo-Jong Jeon says:

    Actually I have seen the goo before. From experience I have noticed when used engine oil mixes with asphalt on an unusually hot day.
    That is what happens.

  47. marcos laureano says:

    I don't trust any channel w a blue check.

  48. Eric Leblanc says:

    It's the black oil from the x files 😁

  49. Just Looking says:

    No testing done? Probably a bad batch of asphalt. Maybe some nice PCB oil in there? Or cooking oil for that matter.

    5:43 Well, there you have it.

  50. Blaine Steele says:

    Get to the point you wanka

  51. Icarus planters says:

    Time to call the scp foundation

  52. Plumbing Inspector Contractor says:

    Asphalt concrete what the hell are you talking about it's either asphalt or concrete there's no such thing as asphalt concrete

  53. Javier Fernandez says:

    My ass fault has a mancha negra too! D:

  54. Bazooka Llama Productions says:

    Mass spectrometer. Boom. I win.

  55. Andrew Ince says:

    1800 deaths isn't unlikely. Consider the fact that vehicles involved in incidents are likely to have more than just one passenger. One could claim a road unsafe as 50 people died there in just one week however it could simply be a bus containing 50 people causing that number. It all depends on how the statistics were written up.

  56. raymiebarnes71 says:

    Probably blood and bones off all the murders.

  57. Sean Foltz says:

    If you've ever been to South America and seen how those people drive you would believe 1800 casualties – seriously – traffic laws are barely even viewed as a suggestion down there and I suspect that most people learn how to drive by watching the old Speed Racer anime.

  58. QuickMinuteTV says:

    Venezuela has bigger problems than poorly built roads

  59. Anon Jax says:

    So in other words you know nothing.

  60. Sven says:

    im assuming it is very inflatable

  61. A J says:

    Thank you for doing what no media does any more- telling the truth

  62. MAGGOT VOMIT says:

    The Negra stole my Bike.

  63. Kevin Bujak says:

    Simon Whistler … you would make a great BOND VILLAIN……

  64. WWTormentor says:

    So we have technology to identify atmospheres in planets millions of light years away but we can’t identify something that we can physically gather and test? Now that sounds like science fiction to me

  65. Chaos Insurgency says:

    Hey v-sauce here

  66. The crap adventures of Che Simons says:

    We get that goo everywhere in NSW, usually between the pothole patches or the original road (where any original road is left).

  67. Laura Nolastnamegiven says:

    wow, dude, towards the end there, trying to do a Beto impression?

  68. Wolfdog370 says:

    What a load of waffle .. 5 minuets of unnecessary blah blah blah .. just say what it is .. cos that's all people want to know .. not 20 things it isnt or was thought to be .. its clips like this that make youtube painful to watch

  69. Ida Puji says:

    the edge of your eyeglass is disappearing, how its possible?

  70. METALMAN says:

    Haha corruption “at the time” haha

  71. John Barney says:

    Black goo is. AI. From alien areas ! Satanic, luciferian artificial intelligence ! All went to the bush family goo pool ! Ask em !

  72. Kenny Carter says:

    Before i watch, sounds like an oil/asphalt upwelling

  73. Mike says:

    Remember the movie, The Blob?

  74. Wi-Fi TV says:

    La mancha neg-
    Ving Rhames kicks in the door

  75. Gingher Clark says:

    Jed went hunting and up from the ground came a bubbling gooooo lmao

  76. Enjoying Life says:

    He tells you at the beginning that detergent worked on it for a while. That tells you all you need to know.

  77. Daniel Goodrich says:

    The answer is simple people. The earth just crapped itself!!!

  78. fragrantlily X says:

    It's oil, Ma Kettle! Tar, plenty of road building.

  79. Jim will Bump says:

    click bait. click bait. click bait.

  80. D. L. Austin says:

    Another paid government shill mouthpiece!

  81. Raven Wings says:

    I'm mesmerized by your giant head on top of your anorexic body.

  82. THIRD EYE ON THE SKY says:

    You are not an open minded or even a person I need to hear ever again with your imbecilic remark about "conspiracy theorists" which is a loaded blanket term that is mostly used by the majority of tv watching chimps without free will since the vaccinations, and fluoridated water among everything else weaponized against your health and intellect has completely dissolved reasoning and common sense. You don't even have the most vital human instincts like self preservation. Now go back to your idiot box and make sure your kids hydrate from the tap and never miss a government sanctioned round of thymerosol modified viruses and animal dna vaccinations moron.

  83. patrick van eylen says:

    Harald Kautz Vella knows wat it is

  84. BrokenWishbone says:

    I wish Simon did the regular daily news like this lmfao

  85. george cirelli says:

    this guy is c_a scum

  86. shesaknitter says:

    They should have dumped a lot of Dawn on it if it's oily. Dawn is the best degreaser on the planet!

  87. Seth S. says:

    Your day job I wonder?

  88. K-M: Ehrenworth all rights reserved. says:

    This is sentient goo found in fauklan war ghwb Texas ranch found in OSSIRUS tomb sarcophagús FLESH EATER

  89. The_Bread_Pirate_G0nz0 says:

    subtitles say "not exactly rocket surgery"… excellent!

  90. John de Leon says:

    glitch in the glasses at 5:50

  91. Attar Gnoht says:

    its MALAVORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from the TV show Legacy

  92. Michael Kelligan says:

    That black goo is called Socialism

  93. ken kowalczyk says:

    so… I know this isn't really an important part of the video, but once I saw it I couldn't pay attention to the video… part of your glasses kept disappearing… started like 4 seconds in and continued throughout… it might happen every video and I didn't notice til now, dunno.. *goes and watched a few other videos

  94. Nino Brown says:

    Black goo is programmable matter brought by asteroids to seed our planet long long ago. Archons….🤯

  95. Ralph Mueller says:

    a corrupt government employing shoddy road crews, no surprises there

  96. Phil DragonKing says:

    All I hear is ass and *seepage*.
    Thumbs up from me 🙂

  97. Herbert Tchechel says:

    Black Goo is related to darkness and evil spirits and demons. It has it's own personality, it's aggressive and you need to keep distance from that

  98. Ana Tenório says:

    Esse cara nåo respira não ?

  99. ManDevil says:

    Livin' La Mancha Negra!

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