Leviathan mystery

Published: Thursday 31 July 2003

Identity crisis (Credit: Jose Luis Saavedra / REUTERS<s)A 40-foot blob of slimy flesh that was washed up on the shores of a beach in Chile has confounded scientists who are trying to identify its origins. Some say it could be a rare giant octopus or squid while others believe it to be discarded blubber from a whale that has died of old age.

According to zoologists, this strange piece of gelatinous tissue resembles descriptions of the rare Octopus giganteus found in Florida in 1896. Chilean scientists plan to send tissue samples abroad for proper examination. Sightings of similar mystery creatures have been reported by divers and fisherfolk all over the world -- from Tasmania to the Bahamas.

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