Gag me with a spoon

So, this huge mass of incredibly strange gelatinous stuff washes up on the shores of Chile, and oceanologists have no clue what the heck it is. From

The dead creature was mistaken for a beached whale when first reported about a week ago, but experts who went to see it said the 40-foot-long (12-meter) mass of decomposing lumpy grey flesh apparently was an invertebrate.

“We’d never before seen such a strange specimen, We don’t know if it might be a giant squid that is missing some of its parts or maybe it’s a new species,” said Elsa Cabrera, director of the Center for Cetacean Conservation in Santiago.

“Maybe it’s a new species?” I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: The ocean is just plain weird. We’re busy spending quadrillions of dollars trying to find out if, like, a dozen microbes maybe once lived on Mars sometime in the ancient past. Meanwhile, the entire flippin’ ocean is filled with things that are the size of your front lawn and yet which no-one before has ever even seen.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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