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Feb 20 2011

Toxic Blob Alert!

Just off the coast of Florida,
A sticky, toxic blob
Is mystifying scientists
Who try to do their job.
It’s three feet thick, gelatinous,
And smells like rotten eggs
A giant, oily jellyfish
(without so many legs).
It’s a tangled mat of algae
And bacteria, which die
In the anaerobic water
While the blob is oozing by
This giant, toxic, sticky mess
Is floating, off the coast
The Gulf was once so beautiful…
Perhaps this is its ghost.

Just off the Florida Panhandle coastline, within site of Perdido Key, an underwater mass of dead sea life that appears to be growing as microscopic algae and bacteria get trapped and die has been found by scientists.

Early samples indicate the glob is at least 3 feet thick and spans two-thirds of a mile parallel to the coast.

No one knows where it came from or where it will go.

It appears to be nearly 100% organic, but this does not rule out something initiated by the Gulf oil spill.  Part of the confusion stems from the size of the blob–not that it was so huge it was a mystery, but rather because it was so big, the researchers did not have sufficient tools to sample from the bottom layer, which would likely be very instructive.  They will return with the appropriate tools.

Cuttlecap tip to Glendon Mellow and Deep Sea News, via twitter.

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