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Globsters: Mysterious Organic Blobs

Nowadays, when massive sea beasts wash ashore, humane policy is to bury the poor brutes in the sand after the marine biologists and cetologists check things out. Occasionally, of course, we'll pack the beached Krakens with TNT and blow blubber to the...

Nowadays, when massive sea beasts wash ashore, humane policy is to bury the poor brutes in the sand after the marine biologists and cetologists check things out. Occasionally, of course, we’ll pack the beached Krakens with TNT and blow blubber to the moon. Never forget the Exploding Whale of 1970. Thar She Blows at the 2:15 mark:

But when something strange, something off-putting and cryptozoological, drifts up from the depths, we tend to hang onto the unsightly specimens, in whole or in part. Globsters, as these putrid, pretzled, oftentimes boneless hunks of organic goo are unscientifically known in the otherwise scientific literature, have been washing up throughout history to the occasional bafflement of experts. Here’s a criminally brief catalog of just some of these mysterious organic blobs that, depending on who you ask, may or may not one day come to include giant salty Lego men.

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The St. Augustine Monster

Consider this the mother of recorded globsters, drifting ashore as she did in 1896 near St. Augustine, Florida. The mass was so heavy – estimates in the press figured it to be between four or five tons – that it had half sunk into the sand by the time two local boys made the discovery.

Trunko

On December 27, 1924, the Daily Mail ran an article, “Fish Like A Polar Bear,” that reported a furry, trunked beast that had allegedly been spotted two days prior off the coast of South Africa battling a pod of orcas. The fateful battle, which downed Trunko, as the creature was dubbed, was said to have lasted three hours.

Beach-goers measured the globster in excess of 45 feet in length, 10 feet wide, and 5 feet in height. The elephantine trunk, said to have been affixed to Trunko’s torso, was some 5 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. The fur? Eight inches long.

Unfortunately, no expert ever had a chance to analyze Trunko, as the carcass was only beached for 10 days. On March 27, 1925, a news daily in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, ran a story, “Whales Slain By Hairy Monster,” that spoke of a vicious creature slaying whales before beaching itself, falling unconscious, and then waking up, hobbling back all walrus-like from whence it came.

The New Zealand Globster

This puppy made landfall on the west coast of North Island, New Zealand, near Muriwai, in 1968, and clocked in at 30 feet in length and 8 feet in height. I think I’ll just leave it to J.E. Morton, chair of the University of Auckland’s zoology department, to characterize the blob: “I can’t think of anything it resembles.”

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The Chilean Blob

The Chilean Navy happened upon this pancaked, 12-meter-wide mass in 2003. A flurry of press latched onto the story; initial speculation painted the globster as some hitherto unknown species of deep-sea giant octopus. Later, DNA analysis would prove it merely the partial remains – in all likelihood a hulking piece of adipose tissue – of a sperm whale.

So to be totally clear, I’m not here to get all nutbar conspiratorial on you. I don’t spend my nights reading smelly prints of The Unexplained or Cryptozoology. Because more often than not, we can strike through the mask of many a mangled and beached marine beast.

ODDITY examines strange and esoteric phenomena and events from the remote, uncanny corners of technology, science and history.

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Reach this writer at brian@motherboard.tv.