This is the crud that forms around the positive and negative terminals of old and/or dead batteries. If the batteries happened to be in a device while this growth took place, the contacts of the device have most likely become corroded and the device possibly ruined. This makes one wonder if the "We will repair or replace, at our option, any device damaged by this battery" guarantee would really be honored - but that is a subject for another node.

Common places to locate fermenting batteries that may have started producing battery leakage (battery fungus) are:

In your calculator that you haven't used since Junior High.
In your miscellaneous junk drawer.
In the remote control for the TV that never gets used.
In any battery operated hurricane supply items (flashlights, radios, etc.).
In your fire alarms.
On that old 286 motherboard.
And for those of you with battery operated adult toys, well, you get the idea.

And the 3 best ways to avoid battery fungus:

1. Never purchase batteries that already have it.
2. Replace your old batteries before they get it.
3. And hey, if you're not using the device, take the batteries out!

My encounter with battery fungus:

A friend and I recently ventured out to the Recoton factory outlet store, intent on purchasing some new speakers. Shortly after entering the store, my friend saw something that caught his attention: A large box filled with blister packages, each containing 10 AA alkaline batteries, for the low price of 99¢ per pack! This warranted some closer inspection, so I picked up a pack to get a close look at the batteries. This deal seemed too good to be true. I quickly found out why these batteries were so cheap - at least one battery in each pack had a generous coating of some kind of light green powedery crystalline growth. I thought to myself, "Hmm, these batteries must be very old - they've started to grow fungus." Needless to say, I didn't buy any.

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