Courtesy North Slope Borough
Where is Steve McQueen when you need him?
In one of his first films, "The Blob," the King of Cool helps defend a small Pennsylvania town against an amorphous extraterrestrial mass of man-eating protoplasm. At the end of the movie, he realizes that the creature cannot stand cold, so he and a police officer attack it with fire extinguishers, freezing it. The film closes with a shot of a military plane dropping the the Blob into the Arctic.
And now the creature has apparently thawed. According to the Anchorage Daily News, hunters on Alaska's northern coast noticed a mass of thick, dark, viscous matter drifting in the ocean. Officials took a helicopter to investigate (see the video below) and followed a strand of the stuff that they estimated to be 12 to 15 miles long.
The following day, they collected samples. Preliminary results of the tests [PDF] conducted by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation found no hydrocarbon sheen. In other words, it's not oil.
Instead, they found that the sample "primarily contained marine algae." But it's a kind of algae unlike anything anyone can recall seeing before.