Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Solve Chilean 'Blob' Mystery

Date:
January 22, 2004
Source:
University Of South Florida
Summary:
When a huge, unidentifiable, gelatinous blob weighing 13 tons and measuring 41 feet long and 19 feet wide washed up on a beach in Chile in July, 2003, many speculated that it was the remains of a giant sea monster.

When a huge, unidentifiable, gelatinous blob weighing 13 tons and measuring 41 feet long and 19 feet wide washed up on a beach in Chile in July, 2003, many speculated that it was the remains of a giant sea monster. (http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/07/02/giant.find/).

Similar, documented blobs, often thought to be the remains of giant squids, had turned up on beaches elsewhere, including one in St. Augustine, Fla. in 1896, two in Bermuda (1995 and 1997), in Tasmania in 1960 and Nantucket, Mass. in 1996. All the blobs looked pretty much the same, says Skip Pierce, professor of biology at the University of South Florida who is presenting the results of his blob bio-sleuthing today at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in New Orleans (www.sicb.org).

"In all cases, the blobs were thought to be possible sea monsters, but the decomposed carcasses lacked a skeleton,” said Pierce. “Elsa Cabrera, director of the Center for Cetacean Conservation in Santiago, sent us samples of the 2003 Chilean blob and we compared it microscopically and genetically to preserved samples of other historical blobs, including the 1896 blob.”

Pierce and colleagues subjected the Chilean blob’s DNA to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and the blob’s anatomy was looked at microscopically.

"The Chilean sample was almost entirely pure collagen fibers," explained Pierce.

The fibers, Pierce’s team found, were totally unlike the fine structure of an octopus or squid. Further, the molecular test results proved that the blob was the highly decomposed remains of a sperm whale. The Chilean blobs DNA matched that of the Nantucket blob exactly and had all the characteristics of all the other blobs that used to be whales.

"Once again, to our disappointment, we have not found any evidence that any of the blobs are the remains of unknown sea monsters,” Pierce told attendees at the 2004 SICB meeting.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of South Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of South Florida. "Scientists Solve Chilean 'Blob' Mystery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040122083507.htm>.
University Of South Florida. (2004, January 22). Scientists Solve Chilean 'Blob' Mystery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040122083507.htm
University Of South Florida. "Scientists Solve Chilean 'Blob' Mystery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040122083507.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins