In some legends, sea monsters are frightening creatures that wreak havoc on coastal villages or lure ships to certain doom. But mostly they are just unassuming aquatic creatures—squids, turtles, whales—with cases of mistaken identity. When a 20-foot oblong carcass, covered in glob-like white strands, washed up on a Philippine beach in Oriental Mindoro, locals were understandably a little alarmed. The beach reeked with the wretched smell of death, according to The Sun, but that didn’t stop onlookers from taking selfies. Some, however, chose to keep their distance.
“An earthquake is heading for Oriental Mindoro,” local Tam Maling told The Sun. “The big globster is a sign of something bad coming. Please pray for us.” “Globster” is what people have taken to calling the mystery carcass, but it’s a term that’s actually been used since 1962. Scottish-born biologist Ivan Terence Sanderson reportedly devised it to describe decomposing tissue, corpses, or other stranded dead animals that come ashore—and inspire a lot of tales of sea monsters.
It hasn’t been long since a globster last inspired intrigue and horror in the Philippines. In February 2017, a misshapen, 4,000-pound example floated ashore in the Dinagat Islands.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has determined that the latest globster is a decomposing whale, but will have to wait for DNA analysis and dissection to zero in on the species. Fishery Law Enforcement Officer Vox Krusada told The Sun, “the local government of Gloria will now bury the carcass. And damn it smells awful. It smells like something from another planet.”