Chilean Scientists Baffled

Friday, July 4 2003

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Hulk fan Nivek found the following article at Does it explain David Banner's fate? Will he return? Bruce Banner was in South America, so who knows?

Giant sea creature baffles Chilean scientists
Wednesday, July 2, 2003 Posted: 1:32 PM EDT (1732 GMT)

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) -- Chilean scientists were baffled on Tuesday by a huge, gelatinous sea creature found washed up on the southern Pacific coast and were seeking international help identifying the mystery specimen.

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.

Photographs showed a round leathery substance like a mammoth jelly fish, about as long as a school bus.

Giant squid live at a depth of 9,500 feet (3,000 meters) and only rise to the surface when they die. Specimens have been known to be as long as 60 feet (18 meters).

There was speculation that the mass might be a whale skin, but Cabrera said it was too big and did not have the right texture or smell.

Cabrera said she was contacting Chilean and international organizations in the hope that they could help shed some light on the find.

The Chilean Navy first spotted the mystery specimen along with another large mass, but the other dead animal turned out to be a dead humpback whale.

Scientists are hoping to find answers from DNA samples.

The remains continue to be bantered by the tide in the Chilean coast, a week after being discovered.

Scientists estimate the animal found on the coast of Chile weighed 13 tons.

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