08/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mysterious Blob Off The Coast Of Alaska Identified As Algae (And The Rest Of Your Scritti Politti)

For some time now, people watched the coast of Alaska with growing dread at the sight of the advancing, implacable blob of goo that was headed for the shore. It was stinky and creepy and it devoured the wildlife in its path:

"It's definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it's some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism..."

"It's pitch black when it hits ice and it kind of discolors the ice and hangs off of it," Brower said. He saw some jellyfish tangled up in the stuff, and someone turned in what was left of a dead goose -- just bones and feathers -- to the borough's wildlife department.

"It kind of has an odor; I can't describe it," he said.

Yucksville! Luckily for everyone, the mysterious mass has now been identified!

A sample of the giant black mystery blob that Wainwright hunters discovered this month floating in the Chukchi Sea has been identified.

Not bunker oil seeping from an aging, sunken ship. Not a sea monster.

It looks to be a stringy batch of algae.

Just algae! Phew! I mean, obviously, one still has to wonder what it's doing there, how it came to be and whether it means us any harm, but...still. ALGAE. You can get your head around that.

And the upshot is that Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell is not nearly going to have as bad a first day at his new job as he anticipated.

This Day in Onerous End User License Agreements: Remember when a person could just go to the park and enjoy the day without having to agree to a fifteen-thousand word contract on liabilities and waivers and permitting yourself to appear in commercials for HSBC Bank? Those were the days! Now, if you want to hang out in Madison Square Park, you could end up being part of some marketing scheme. So stay home, GAH.

The good news is that HSBC's commercials are the most riveting and pitiless displays of raw human emotion in the world of bank commercials. And now you might be in one!

Twits: Great tweet from esteemed media "critic" Howard Kurtz:

Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar say they'll vote for Sotomayor, plus Mel Martinez (duh). Wonder how many other Repubs will take the plunge

"DUH." Because LA RAZA sticks together, right?

Obama Tweets News Of Next Primetime Presser: "You heard it here first: Primetime presidential news conference at the White House, Wed. 7/22 @ 9PM EDT." Essential to follow: @anamariecox, @cbellantoni, @daveweigel, @jaketapper, @lehmannchris, @LizGlover, @markknoller, @mikemadden, @mikememoli, @OKnox, @TommyXtopher. And me.

This Would Be A Great Way To Keep An Eye On The Ol' Prostate: Via Alex Leo, presenting the only chair that you truly "need" to own.

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