30-foot 'globster' with 'eyes the size of dinner plates' washes up on Alaskan shore
Scientists believe it was killed by a strike from a ship as the evidence left behind on the decomposed body points towards blunt force trauma
An enormous creature which has been nicknamed "globster" has fascinated fishermen in Alaska after it was found washed up in the St. James Bay. The weird-looking creature was described as having "eyes the size of dinner plates" and was initially believed to have been a giant squid. Scientists and researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration went to the sight and inspected the specimen and have found out that it is actually the decaying carcass of a humpback whale.
Johanna Vollenweider, a biologist who inspected the carcass, has said that she can understand why the local fishermen may have misidentified the corpse of the animal, The Sun reported.
She said: "Fishermen mistook the animal as a giant squid likely because they could not get very close to it as it was hung up on a rocky reef very near the shore."
She added: "The animal was highly visible to our gillnet fleet, which was actively fishing in the area. From a distance, the animal could look like a squid. The body was very soft because it was so rotten and there were long, orange stripes along the body which are the pleats of the expandable throat of the humpback whale. Perhaps these looked like tentacles from afar."
The fishermen who found the giant carcass described the creature as being a 30 feet globster with "eyes the size of dinner plates". According to the scientists who went and studied the corpse, the "eyes" in the case of this globster are actually the rotting socket joints of the pectoral fin of the whale.
Globsters generally have a very strange appearance because of the way they deteriorate over time before they are found washed up on a beach. Vollenweider said: "The blubber gets real soft and gooey when it rots." It is also thought that the animal was mutilated by other hungry animals in the sea after it died. Aside from any sea creatures who would have taken bites out of the dead animal, it is believed that once it washed up on shore, bears and eagles probably helped themselves to the meat as well.
When it comes to how the animal died, it is believed by the scientists that it was killed by a strike from a ship. The evidence left behind on the decomposed body points towards blunt force trauma and a ship strike is the most likely reason.
A globster is defined as "an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other bodies of water". It is generally distinguished from a normal beached carcass by being hard to identify, at least by initial untrained observers, and by creating controversy as to its identity.