Low Life

Here’s something curious. I have no idea if this video — allegedly taken from a camera being snaked through a sewer line in North Carolina — is real or fake, or, if real, whther it depicts something already well-known or utterly strange. What the hell are these things? They look like mighty good eatin’.


  1. Kevin Kim says

    They seem to be sensitive to light, whatever they are: they all behave the same way when the camera is trained on them. Alas, I get no sense of scale. Are these things a half-inch across? Two inches across? Two feet across? If they’re tiny, why not tap (or rake!) one with a dental hook and see what happens?


    Posted July 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Personally, I think that these are residues of the blob. Global warming is reviving the monster. Moreover, at about 1:15 into the clip, an image of Warren Buffet can be seen to the right of one of these. Obviously something apocalyptic is coming “soon . . . very soon.”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted July 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  3. JK says

    If I recall correctly Kevin, those pipes are 32″ in diameter (if that helps).

    I will say this definitively though, North Carolina might – in a gesture of goodwill, ask some of the skinnier members of PETA if they’d go down and take a look. Whatever those things are, they are camera shy. And if the things have pain receptors (as crabs may), the things’d make for nice silkscreened T-shirts at PETA parades.

    Posted July 2, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
  4. Quite revolting. What on earth were you looking for when you found that?

    Posted July 3, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink
  5. Jeanie Oliver says


    Posted July 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Hi all,

    Yes, pretty revolting, though perhaps far less so after being rolled in a little batter and immersed in a deep-fryer.

    Deogolwulf, I assure you I hadn’t gone out of my way looking looking for anything like these cowran, tim’rous beasties; I simply followed a link sent by a friend.

    As always happens in such cases, the experts are weighing in. We haven’t been told yet that they are luminous balls of marsh gas, nor that they are weather balloons, but so far the candidates out on the hustings are tubifex worms and bryozoans.

    Where is Charles Fort when you need him?

    Posted July 4, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  7. Chloe says

    I saw this today and my first thought was to send it to you! Of course, you always have your ear to the streets, dad.

    My googling found that the consensus is that they are primitive 350 million-year-old “animals” called bryozoans. They are a conglomerate of many single-celled organisms, which are able to filter-feed nutrients from the water. Still pretty alien and disgusting.

    Or maybe it’s the reincarnation of the FSM?

    Posted July 7, 2009 at 1:13 am | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Hi Chloë,

    As they say: “As above, so below.” It does look like there might be some spaghetti in there.

    That’s a remarkably sweet spot in “design space”, to exist unchanged for 350 million years.

    Posted July 7, 2009 at 1:28 am | Permalink
  9. jack says

    if its fake, its frikkin well done

    Posted July 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  10. jack says

    I think this might be the answer:


    Posted July 8, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

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