In August, 1960, the seas tossed up a strange mass of biological matter onto the west coast of Tasmania. Measuring no less than twenty feet (6 meters) long and nearly as wide, four and a half feet (1.4 meters) tall and estimated to weigh somewhere between five and ten tons (4.5 to 9 tonnes), this animal, or piece of an animal, is an enigma. Called the Tasmanian Globster, it was a tapering cylinder-shape, with a flattened bottom. The flesh was tough and rubbery, and was covered in fine hair, “like sheep’s wool, with a greasy feel” (Ellis 1995, p. 315), bearing near the large, humped end five or six of what appeared to be gill-slits, and it had what seemed to be a mouth on the underside. To this day, the creature has never been satisfactorily explained.
This was not, however, a one-time occurrence. Nearly identical creatures have beached themselves three times since then, in various stages of decomposition. In 1968 on the North Island of New Zealand (New Zealand Globster), in 1970 a second Tasmanian Globster, and in Bermuda in May of 1988 (Bermuda Blob). These were thirty feet (9 meters) long, eight feet (2 ½ meters) long, and two and a half to three feet (76 to 91 centimeters) thick, respectively. In November 1896, the octopus-like St. Augustine Monster washed up in Florida, and it is generally considered to be the same as the other creatures described here, but there is enough dissimilarity that it is considered a separate creature here.
Although the creatures that followed the Tasmanian Globster were all in worse states of decomposition, they are all allied by their lack of any form of skeleton, their tough, stringy flesh which is extremely difficult to cut, described by Bermuda Blob discoverer Teddy Tucker as “like trying to cut a car tire” (Ellis 1995, p. 317), and their lobe-like limbs.
The original term for these creatures is Globster, but this name was later applied to all manner of beached mystery creatures, and has become useless to describe the original creatures that were given this name. Thus, this text will propose the name Blob, a name which so far has only been used for these animals.
Various explanations have been proposed for the Blobs, such as large pieces of whale blubber and giant octopuses (which the St. Augustine Monster may have been, but the Blobs definitely seem not to be). The details found on the Tasmanian Globster more or less negate any theory as yet proposed, and it seems safe to say that the Blobs represent a completely unknown species of animal, and possibly even a completely unknown phylum or class. At any rate, from what little is known some inferences can be made. The flattened bottom and ventrally-placed mouth hint to bottom-feeding; the fleshy, limb-like lobes found in most Blobs might serve to provide locomotion.
However, until more information can be found, next to nothing is known about the mysterious Blobs. Perhaps another Blob will wash up somewhere in the near future, that it might be analyzed with modern scientific processes, leading at least a little closer to discovering what these bizarre animals are.
A Deep-Sea Mystery
by Willie Shughart