"Arctic Mystery: Identifying the Great Blob of Alaska"

"A group of hunters aboard a small boat out of the tiny Alaska village of Wainwright were the first to spot what would eventually be called 'the blob.' It was a dark, floating mass stretching for miles through the Chukchi Sea, a frigid and relatively shallow expanse of Arctic Ocean water between Alaska's northwest coast and the Russian Far East. The goo was fibrous, hairy. When it touched floating ice, it looked almost black.

But what was it? An oil slick? Some sort of immense, amorphous organism adrift in some of the planet's most remote waters? Maybe a worrisome sign of global climate change? Or, as folks wondered who followed from faraway via the internet, was it something insidious and, perhaps, even carnivorous like the man-eating jello from the old Steve McQueen movie that inspired the Alaska phenomenon's nickname?"

Wesley Loy reports from Anchorage for TIME July 18, 2009.


Source: TIME, 07/20/2009