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Accidental hornwort tissue culture?!?

A couple of years ago, I got my girlfriend (now my wife :)) a
BioSphere for Christmas.  It's a 12 inch sealed globe that had
some hornwort, snails, daphnia, algae, etc.

It looked great for the first year, but then had some problems.
At some point the ramshorn snails died, and there was a big 
explosion of hair algae.  Then the hornwort suddenly turned
brown and fell apart.  The whole thing seemed to be having a
major decline, so I decided to try to open it and restock it with
my own mix.re-do it myself.  To make
a long story short, I couldn't get the thing open, and it ended
up sitting in a closed box for the last few months.

Yesterday, I decided to make another attempt to open it, and 
so I took it out of the box.  To my amazement, some hornwort
had grown back.  There is a single stem with a fairly short
internode spacing and *very* long thin needles.  The color is
a pale brownish green.  I've never seen hornwort like it.

Since there was no light for several months, there cannot
have been any photosynthesis.  The only thing that can account
for the growth is nutrients in the water.  The dying plants 
probably released plenty, and somewhere there was still a 
viable bud.