The UnAustralian

Saturday, July 12, 2003

The blob found off Chile has turn out to be a rotting carcass of a sperm whale. This is a bit of a disappointment, as I was really hoping for a massive octopus. Such is Life.

On the other hand, the decomposition process of a sperm whale has suddenly become interesting to me. From the CNN article:

When a sperm whale dies at sea, it rots until it becomes a "skeleton suspended in a semi-liquid mass within a bag of skin and blubber," the scientists said. Eventually, the skin tears and the bones sink while the skin and blubber float.

"This washes up and has the appearance of an octopus because the spermaceti organ keeps its bulky shape," they added.

The spermaceti is a large bulbous organ that forms a sort of forehead and contains a milky wax which early whalers likened to sperm fluid.

| 5:22 PM