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What the Heck Is This Mysterious Hairy Sea Creature in the Philippines?

The large white mass of what looks like hair was a shocking sight to locals.


It's tempting to call any strange sea creature that washes up a monster, but there are often very reasonable explanations for the otherworldly appearances of these sadly deceased animals.

In actuality, so-called "globsters" aren't really as mystifying as their name suggests.

What are globsters?

Giphy

The "globster" moniker — given to unidentified, blobby animals that wash up out of the sea — was doled out again recently when a mystery creature appeared on a Philippines beach.

The large white mass of what looks like hair was a shocking sight to locals.

Scientists have yet to pin down exactly what the animal is, but odds are that it's a whale, according to what Fishery Law Enforcement Officer Vox Krusada told The Sun.

"For now we can say it's a whale, but the exact species is still unknown," he said, adding that he took tissue samples to study the DNA and make a species determination.

If you're looking at these photos and wondering how on Earth this beast is a whale, you're not alone.

Animals that wash up out of the sea often look way distorted thanks to a combination of effects.

Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols previously explained the monster-fication of dead sea animals to Azula:

"Through a combination of bloating and decomposition — and even dehydration if the animal carcass has been exposed to the sun for an extended period — bodies of stranded animals can become hard to identify. ...

Eyes bulge, teeth and bones can become more extremely exposed, skin is stretched, the familiar markers and elements of cuteness fade and 'monster-like' characteristics are interpreted."

What are globsters?

Giphy

In this case, Newsweek reports the "hair" seen in the decaying Philippines whale is actually made up of muscle fibers and decaying blubber. "Different parts of the flesh break down at differential rates," marine biologist Nicholas Higgs told the outlet. "Connective tissue between the muscle and blubber is quite tough, so [it] frays into straggly hair-like coating."

This is actually not the first time a "hairy" monster has washed ashore. As Azula previously reported, one of the first reported "globsters" showed up in Florida in 1896.

It was dubbed the Saint Augustine Monster.

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More recently, Indonesia was hit with another hairy monster in February 2017.

Both are thought to have been whales, as well.

A dead whale is a tragic thing, but they're certainly not monsters.

The lesson here is that you just can't judge a decomposing whale by its strange, hairy carcass.

Giphy

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