ZPi Cephalopod News

Republished headlines for the discerning invertebrate

CHILEAN BLOB: THOUGHT CEPHALOPODAN, TURNS OUT CETACEAN

(Images from articles. Click for source.)

2003-07-02 (UPDATED 2003-07-11) On June 23, 2003, a "blob" 12 m long, 5.8 m wide, 1.6 m high, and estimated to weigh 13 tons was found on a beach near Puerto Montt in Los Muermos, Chile by the Chilean Navy. On July 2, European zoologists contacted by the Chileans said it might be an Octopus giganteus, a rare, possibly mythical, giant octopus whose remains were first seen in 1896 in Florida (although that was shown in 1995 to have been whale remains using samples; see this cryptozoology site for other potential sightings and lore of so-called "globsters") However, other experts (including posters to this TONMO messageboard thread,) suspected it to be just whale blubber or something else less interesting (other remains of a humpback were found nearby.) Samples were sent to laboratories in the United States, France and Italy for DNA testing. On July 11, Chilean scientists announced that it is just whale remains. Nothing to see here, cephalopod fans; move along...

Sites:
Mysterious marine creature of Pinuno
Site from the Chilean Centro de Conservación Cetacea (CCC) that's asking kids for opinions on what the blob is. Includes some photos, some aditional facts, and a map. In Spanish.
Articles:
2003-07-11 Chilean Experts Say Beached "Blob" A Sperm Whale (Reuters)
Chilean scientists said on Friday their study of a huge blob of flesh found on a Pacific beach about three weeks ago concluded it was the carcass of a sperm whale, ending speculation of a giant octopus.
2003-07-11 Canadian May Hold Key To Identifying Chilean Blob (The Globe & Mail)
Researchers are using a genetic test developed by a Canadian scientist. (Good overview of blob identification science.)
2003-07-09 Mystery Blob Probe (The Scientist)
International labs get samples of Chilean beach blob, whale blubber is leading theory but giant octopus not ruled out
2003-07-07 Beached Blob Has Scientists Scratching Heads (Reuters)
Is it a sea monster? A new species? Or maybe just the innards of a long dead whale?
2003-07-04 Chilean "Blob" May Be Giant Octopus -- Or Just Blubber (Seattle PI)
The discovery, if confirmed, would bump Puget Sound as home to the world's largest octopus. (The Cascadian angle to the story. Let us also hope they don't find mountain octopi in the Andes or this will be quite the blow to Cascadian ecotourism.)
2003-07-04 "Blob" Samples to Be Sent to Foreign Labs (Reuters)
Chileans who found a huge blob of flesh washed up on a remote Pacific beach said on Thursday they would send samples of the specimen to foreign scientists to sort out if it is a rare giant octopus or part of a whale carcass.
2003-07-03 Meet The Monster (SMH.com.au)
What exactly it is remains a mystery - though some reports describe it as a giant octopus, while others say it is a squid. (Photo.)
2003-07-02 Chilean 'Blob' May Be Giant Octopus, Whale Blubber (Reuters)
Scientists said on Wednesday a huge mass of slimy flesh that washed up on a Chilean beach last week may be a rare type of giant octopus or just discarded whale blubber. (Photos.)
2003-07-02 Chilean Scientists Work To ID Mysterious Sea Creature (CNN)
Is it a fabled giant octopus, a monster squid, or perhaps a piece of a rotting whale? (Photos, including 1896 blob.)
2003-07-02 Giant Sea Specimen Baffles Scientists (MSNBC)
A huge, gelatinous sea creature found washed up on Chile's coast has stumped scientists, who have sent samples to a specialist in France for help in identifying the mystery specimen.
2003-07-02 More photos (CNN)
2003-07-02 Raro Ejemplar De Pulpo Gigante Varó En Playa Del Sur (El Mostrador.cl)
El inmenso cefalópodo, que causó el asombro de lugareños, pescadores y científicos, fue encontrado el pasado 23 de junio por miembros de la Armada en la playa La Doncella, cerca de la localidad de Los Muermos. (Includes photo.)
2003-07-01 Photos (Yahoo)
2003-07-01 Giant Sea Creature Baffles Chilean Scientists (Reuters)
Chilean scientists were baffled today by a huge, gelatinous sea creature found washed up on the southern Pacific coast and were seeking international help identifying the mystery specimen.

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