Chilean Mystery Blob Identified as Sperm Whale Skin

A mysterious, 41-foot by 19-foot (12.4-meter by 5.4-meter) gelatinous mass of flesh that washed ashore in southern Chile this June came from a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), not a giant octopus (Octopus giganteus) as some sleuths suspected.

“Two independent DNA analyses confirmed the identification as belonging to a sperm whale,” said Elsa Cabrera, director of the Center for Cetacean Conservation in Santiago, Chile.