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/).

Related Articles


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 March 29, 2015 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 March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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