Discovered from time to time on beaches throughout the world, globsters are mysterious blobs of flesh, occasionally covered with hair, that some people believe are the remains of sea monsters. Such blobs have been reported since at least the late nineteenth century, but the first one to be called a globster (a term coined by cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson) was found on a Tasmanian beach in 1960. The badly decomposed, somewhat circular lump of flesh, measuring roughly 18 by 20 feet (5.5 by 6.1m) was covered with short hair that witnesses said had a texture similar to sheep’s wool.
This hair has led many people to believe that the Tasmanian globster represents some new, previously unknown species of sea creature. Zoologist Bruce Mollinson, who examined the Tasmanian remains himself, has suggested that the globster came from an unknown stingraylike creature, which he theorized might live in the underwater caverns off the coast of Tasmania. However, some cryptozoologists believe that the Tasmanian globster is instead a lump of whale blubber, noting that when the carcasses of sharks and whales decompose, their fibrous connecting tissue dries out and takes on the appearance of hair. Indeed, in 1962 the Australian government declared that scientific testing had proven the Tasmanian globster to be whale blubber. Still, some people reject this conclusion as being based on flawed testing methods.
Another hair-covered globster, found on November 1, 1922, on a South African beach, has also caused dispute. The day before its discovery, numerous people along the beach saw two whales fighting with a strange creature they later said looked like a polar bear. When the carcass eventually washed up on shore, it did indeed have hair that resembled a polar bear’s, but otherwise it did not look like a bear. Instead, it had a 10-foot-long (3m) tail and a 5-foot-long (1.5m) appendage that witnesses later said was a trunk, a snout, or a headless neck; this appendage was 14 inches (35.6m) in diameter, and the creature’s body was 47 feet (14.3m) long and 10 feet (3m) wide. Unfortunately for those who wanted to learn more, the carcass washed back into the sea before scientists could examine it. This, however, has not kept people from speculating that it was some sort of sea monster.
With each globster discovery, cryptozoologists hope the remains will be complete enough to allow them to classify them as coming from a previously unknown creature. This was, in fact, the case with one of the earliest recorded globster finds, which proved to be a species of giant octopus never before seen. The remains, which washed ashore at Anastasia Island, Florida, in 1896, weighed about 50 tons (45.34 metric tons), and the body measured 23 feet (7m) long, 18 feet (5.5m) wide, and 4 feet (1.2m) tall; a few tentacles were as long as 32 feet (9.8m). Occasionally, a globster shows up that is thought to be the remains of a long-extinct species, such as a plesiosaur, a sea-dwelling dinosaur that is thought to have become extinct roughly 65 million years ago. Cryptozoologists thought they had made just such a find in the waters off New Zealand in 1977, but scientific testing later showed that the badly decomposed remains were those of a 33-foot-long (10m) shark, though its species could not be identified.
- Lake Monsters
- Sanderson, Ivan T.
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning
Ivan T. Sanderson did much to publicize Globsters, a word he coined to describe those unusual beachings of enormous globs of seemingly unidentifiable flesh and bone that are often initially labeled the remains of Sea Serpents. Most strandings, of course, are found to be mundane animals. Though such animals have been seen for centuries, the “original” Globster washed ashore in western Tasmania in August 1960, and was later identified as the partial corpse of a whale. Other famous, usually round and large Globsters have beached in Bermuda, Tasmania (again), New Zealand, South Africa, and St. Augustine, Florida. While most Globsters are found to be basking sharks, a few may be cryptozoological surprises, such as the Giant Octopus.
Mark Chorvinsky has created an extensive “homepage” for Globster data: http://www.strangemag.com/globhome.html, which wins our prize for the most unique website ever created on one specific cryptozoological topic.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark