Thursday, July 16, 2009

Add "black Arctic goo" to forces of the apocalypse unleashed in the end times. It's an algae bloom, I say, to ruin the mystery of it. I get them in my marine aquarium, and when I saw the accompanying photos I thought, yep. It's the same wretched smelling, hairy stuff that grows in my fish tank from time to time. Nothing spectacular. Quite the opposite of spectacular, really. Boring old pond scum.

Unless we're referring to the actual freakish size of the blob, 15 miles long in some spots. The article goes to some lengths to mythologize the goo, describing birds getting caught up in it and the blob leaving nothing behind but bones and feathers, but don't worry, people, I know this goo. Plucked a couple fistfuls of it out of the living room tank just yesterday.

It's a naturally occurring phenomenon occurring in unnatural conditions, (whatever that means.) In my aquarium it happens whenever nutrients are in abundance and the temperature gets out of hand, so I guess we can ascribe the presence of the mysterious Alaskan goo to "climate change". It just cracks me up that we can't do with otherwise ordinary news, and we have to turn every hairy mass into a bigfoot and every flash in the sky into a flying saucer -but what would life be without them? Ages ago we would have turned them into gods, or the work of such, and now we turn them all into a cultural folklore, mocked by most, feared by others, and adulated by the cryptozoologists who walk among us.

They are a strange crew, the cryptozoologists, generally keeping to themselves like the animals of the unreal that they study. Ostracized by the scientific community, they hole up in their garages -which do double time as weird archives and publishing houses- and spend their free time trying to secure graduate degrees to legitimize their names, which are banned in most scientific journals. It's hard to get a degree when you can't keep your mouth shut from all the crazy talk, and one day you look up from the lectern to see not students, but the nodding heads of a thousand other wackos. Cryptozoologists all say the same thing: "They're all crazy. But my creature... my creature exists."

The day you're proven right, that your large, undiscovered bat-winged vertebrate is found trolling the bottom of the sea, on that day you're downgraded to just boring old zoologist, and all your life's work is stolen from you by the respected and "legitimate" establishment researchers. Science is hard because of the unknown things. There are unknown things, and scientists have always struggled to humble themselves in the face of them. But the old science of Discovery has today been replaced by the science of Theory, and Truth has been lost in the ever-constant pursuit of the next research grant. Al Gore's net worth has increased to well over $100 million since he started spouting off about "Global Warming" a few years back. He's no scientist, but even I'll get a climatology degree and tell him whatever he wants to hear in return for that sizable paycheck. Meanwhile, many otherwise sober, scholarly, and skeptical, scientists now find themselves in the awkward company of the throngs of passionate cryptozologists they once reviled.

So, for the record, it's just boring old pond scum. It's what the scientists have told us all along is the stuff from whence we came, the origins of life.

End times, indeed.

“To us, men of the West, a very strange thing happened at the turn of the century; without noticing it, we lost science, or at least the thing that had been called by that name for the last four centuries. What we now have in place of it is something different, radically different, and we don't know what it is. Nobody knows what it is.”

-Simone Weil