Separate "Unknown" on Identify into "Life" and "Unidentified"

This will give the opportunity to see only the Unknown (Unidentified) organisms and identify them, at least to wide categories from where the identifications can be refined.
I think they now pile up in a forgotten limbo…

Welcome to the Forum, @waterislife!

Not forgotten, there’s a whole crew of people who are interested in taking care of them! See

Luckily you can bookmark the search urls that already pull up the sets you want:

The whole set of Life and Unknown together:

Just Unknowns:

Just Life:


I’ve always felt that “Stateofmatter Life” should not be casual grade since these observations are mostly fine other than the community ID not agreeing on domain. Common examples are:

  • Slime molds identified as fungi
  • Taxa in different domains with the same common name (e.g., Bird-of-Paradise Flower vs. actual Birds-of-Paradise) where the user has chosen the wrong species from the drop down

I see no reason these should be relegated to “Casual” grade since they can easily be corrected by the community.

Observations which are legitimately “unknown” are usually the result of…

  • The user has no idea what an organism is (“what is this white blob that washed up on the beach?”)
  • The user forgot to add an initial identification or is holding off until later
  • App/web glitches where observations are stripped of their initial ID (this has happened to me)

Life is not set at Casual grade though. BTW I posted a more general link for Life above, but this is my favorite way to look at it:

The “date updated” sort gives you the ones that are “active” first- e.g., where someone freshly made a typo so you can alert them to the mistake, or weight against it; or people are actively hashing out an id (like, slime mold vs fungus).


Did it used to be casual grade? I was so sure all of the “life” observations I’ve seen are casual grade.

Nothing has changed, but many are casual grade (via someone marking something in the DQA) because they can’t be identified, often because the subject is too hard to see or because there are multiple photos of different organisms included.


Well then…carry on lol.


I have had one instance of that. No surprise, it didn’t get identified. It just shows that Unknown needs to get cleaned up. If all the things that could easily be identified were gone, the things where most people cannot even ID to Kingdom would be free to get seen by the people who can identify them.


Thank you, this is useful! I don’t doubt about people wanting to identify them, but the problem is that it’s hard to find them if you don’t know this link. I still think that an option on the main ID page would be the quickest way to find the unknowns.
By the way, what does it mean “casual grade”?

That holds a variety of records that won’t reach Research grade for one reason or another- no photo or sound; cultivated plants; records with no location or inaccurate location; date issues, etc.


This is the link I was looking for!
What is the iN procedure to move state of matter/life organisms to a more specific group, after they receive some identification?

The general procedure ideally just happens “organically”- you add your id-weighting to the best ID you are confident of, and that either gets it out of Life, or the record just waits until the next person comes along, to give enough weight to move to something like say, “Dicots”. Then someone who knows about say, plants can see it and take it farther.

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Closing this request as we won’t be moving forward with it.