Whale of a tale

9 Aug

For years, mysterious blobs that washed up on ocean beaches was thought to be from an undiscovered species of octupus. However, it looks like it is justwhale blubber:

"To our disappointment," the scientists wrote last month in The Biological Bulletin, "we have not found any evidence that any of the blobs are the remains of gigantic octopods, or sea monsters of unknown species."

Richard Ellis, author of the 1994 book "Monsters of the Sea," an exploration of some of the world's most bizarre fauna, called the DNA finding convincing and devastating …

In an interview, Mr. Ellis, who lives in New York City, conceded defeat. "I'm crushed," he said. "It's a blow for people who continue to want there to be great and scary monsters out there."

Then he cheered up. "It may be the requiem for blobdom," he said. "But there are other possibilities" in the sunless depths of the sea.

"We have yet to see a living adult representative of our friend the giant squid," he said of the shy creature whose very long tentacles are thought to writhe like a nest of snakes. "So there's hope for monster watchers."

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