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Tasmanian Globster

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. On August 1960 a huge mass of organic material was found on the beach north of the Interview River, Tasmania, Australia, by Ben Fenton, Jack Boote, and Ray Anthony. It measured 20 feet long by 18 feet wide by 4 feet 6 inches thick, and it weighed 5–10 tons. It appeared to be made up of “tendon-like threads welded together with a fatty substance.” Over eighteen months, it showed no signs of decomposition.

According to witnesses it looks like somewhat circular lump of flesh 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.

An on-site analysis of the material by Bruce Mollison of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on March 7, 1962, was unable to provide an identification. A second CSIRO analysis on March 17, 1962, indicated protein and collagen as primary components and suggested the material was “not inconsistent with blubber.”

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.

Another fibrous Globster was found in March 1965 on Muriwai Beach, North Island, New Zealand. It was 30 feet long, 8 feet high, and covered with hair 4–6 inches long.

Ben Fenton found a third Australasian Globster south of Sandy Cape, Tasmania, in November 1970. This one was 8 feet long.

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.

Mysterious Creatures: “A Guide to Cryptozoology” by George M. Eberhart;
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley

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