Thursday is Blob day

Posted on July 2, 2009 by

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Oh, the wonders of the internet! You never know what you might find, how far it might travel, and who might lay claim to it.

Recently a video has been making the rounds that shows some sort of blob-like, pulsating masses living in a sewer pipe. Whatever they are, they appear to be animal (although slime molds have not been completely ruled out yet) and despite their ability to move, they seem to be attached to the wall of the sewer pipes by some sort of mucous or film. In some portions of the recording you can see this mucillagenous layer floating in the water beneath the bulk of the mass. Early speculation at the Cryptoworld website ranged from bryozoan to freshwater jellyfish to tubifex worms. Although tubifex worms sometimes clump, they are an aquatic species and the blob shown on the video exists at least partially out of the water. Another popular explanation, bryozoans, typically create colonies of calcium structures, much like corals, however not all species do so. But while comments were still being posted and debates were raging about just what the video showed, a couple of television news sources surfaced, each identifiying the blob.

The only problem is, there are at least two different stations, from two different cities, in two very different parts of the country, both identifying the creatures as something found beneath their streets, and both offering different explanations of just what the blob is.

TV News 14, out of Raleigh, North Carolina is identifying the blob as a colony of tubifex worms found in a private sewer system by the Raleigh Public Utilities Department.

But Fox 31, out of Denver, Colorado went with the bryozoan explanation when they reported a similar story in January of last year, and quoted a water system worker who claimed this particular colony was actually residing in the Crestview Water System, in a pipe near the intersection of 76th and Pecos.

Although the images are surprisingly similar, it is defintiely possible that they are from two different colonies, filmed in two separate locations, on different dates. The images supposedly coming out of North Carolina, for instance, display a late April, 2009 time stamp. However, given superficial appearances and the habitat, its highly unlikely that they represent two separate organisms. Although I’m in no way an authority, or in any way qualified to make a defintive identification, based on what I have read about the life cycles and habits of tubifex and bryozoans, I’m leaning more toward the latter as an explanation for our mystery blobs.

What do you think?

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