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What is a Globster?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Globster is the name given to large, organic masses of tissue that occasionally wash up on beaches or shorelines. These blobs are often unidentifiable, and do not usually contain bones or distinguishable features. Globsters are studied by cryptozoologists, and while some are eventually concluded to be whale or shark blubber, others remain unexplained.

The first recorded globster washed up on the beaches of St. Augustine, Florida, in 1896. The massive specimen was described as having sections reminiscent of arm stubs, and was initially thought to be a carcass of a previously unknown gigantic species of octopus. Since its initial discovery, several genetic studies have been done on tissue samples from the globster. These studies often contradict one another, with some suggesting it is in fact an octopus while others are convinced it is whale or shark tissue.

In 1960, a fibrous mass washed up on the beaches of Tasmania. The mass was measured at 20 by 18 ft (6 m by 5.5 m) and had an estimated weight of five tons (4535 kg.) In 1962, in description of the Tasmanian blob, journalist Ivan T. Sanderson coined the term “globster” to refer to the tissue. No samples were taken of the Tasmanian specimen, but it is assumed to be part of a whale carcass.

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The general explanation of globsters is that they are decomposing remains of whale or basking shark carcasses. However, inconsistencies with this explanation are frequently discovered, and some experts believe that the unexplainable features of globsters are often ignored in pursuit of an easy answer. With the St. Augustine monster, several analyses suggested that whatever the globster was, it was definitively not a whale or shark.

In almost all occasions, the tissue of the sample has been tough, stringy, and very difficult to cut. If the mass were whale blubber, many experts believe this would not be the case. The lack of identifying features also causes speculation among scientists and cryptozoologists, as whales and sharks possess bones, flippers and organs. None of the unidentified globsters have possessed any of the requisite features.

One of the most recent analyses of globster samples conducted extensive research on amino acid material, concluding that the samples were probably a whole detached skin of a whale or shark. These results are contested however, with some experts questioning how an entire skin becomes detached from an animal, and pointing out that it does not explain the un-cuttable fibrous mass of some of the globsters. While little evidence points to the theory that globsters are the carcasses of giant octopi, little conclusive evidence appears to point in any other direction.

Stories of giant octopus sightings are common throughout the tropical waters, where globster specimens are found. Cryptozoologists often point out that until 1871, the similarly elusive giant squid had never been positively identified as existing. Octopi are known for exceptional intelligence and even wiliness, and some experts believe it is possible that a giant form could remain hidden from human identification. Because the globster carcasses are often described as having several arm stumps, believers suggest that the blobs are evidence that such as species does exist.

Despite our increased genetic technology, the globsters remain a mystery. If they are whales or sharks, the manner of decomposition is highly unusual for the species, and presents several inconsistencies with biology. If, however, cryptozoologists and their supporting scientists are correct, globsters may one day lead us to a live specimen of a fabled monster.

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