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Word Nerd: Globster

Published on April 13, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on April 14, 2017 9:58AM


Globster [glɒb• stər]


1. any large unidentified mass of marine flesh that washes up onto the shore; often revealed to be a whale carcass, some globsters have gained notoriety or fascinated the public due to their size or peculiar features, like the Tasmanian Globster discovered on 1960


The word is attributed to nature writer and cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson, who coined the term in 1962, obviously a portmanteau combining the meanings and sounds of “glob” and “lobster,” to describe the mysterious mass that washed ashore in Tasmania in 1960 and captured the world’s attention for some time after. Glob arrives in the early 20th Century and is itself probably a blend of “blob” and “gob.” Lobster, lopister prior to 1311, comes from the Old English loppe, meaning “spider.”

“Commonly known as a ‘globster’ — a rotting corpse of a whale that is often barely recognizable – it came ashore around Warrenton on Monday morning. The body is just north of the wreck of the Peter Iredale in an area where the beach narrows and where there may not be as much sand as there appears to be. This is one reason why the foul-smelling globster won’t be buried and will instead be left as food for local wildlife.”

—“Smelly ‘Globster’ of a Dead Whale Will Be Left to Oregon Coast Wildlife,” Oregon Beach Connection, beachconnection.net, March 8, 2017

“That famed — or infamous term — globster, with its paranormal legends, is really just a mass of decayed flesh from some sea creature that is so decomposed it’s absolutely unrecognizable. However, the term globster has shades of meaning derived from this phenomenon being interpreted as something otherworldly, like a sea monster — probably back in less enlightened times. It’s also sometimes referred to as a blob.”

“Giant Gooey, Smelly Whale Washes up on N. Oregon Coast,” Oregon Beach Connection, beachconnection.net, April 15, 2014


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