In 1958, a small town in Pennsylvania was host to a terror of epic proportions. Brought to Earth by a meteor, a Blob emerged. It moved through the town, ingesting many of its inhabitants and growing large enough to cover an entire diner. This is big! Fortunately, a plucky teenager, who bore a striking resemblance to Steve McQueen, found that cold could defeat the creature. In the end, the army carted away the frozen Blob and dropped it into the Arctic.
Move forward fourteen years, when a worker on the Alaskan Pipeline brings home a small piece of an unusual stone he found in the permafrost. Unknowingly, the man brought home a chunk of the Blob, the same Blob that was frozen in the late 1950’s. Of course, it thawed and ravaged the town of its inhabitants, until another plucky teenager turned on the power to the old ice skating rink, once again freezing it. It is likely that this Blob was taken to the Arctic as well.
But, how sure are we of our safety? Is there a possibility of these Blobs returning? The answer lies in a threat that the entire world now faces. The question becomes, could global warming unleash these two menaces on an unsuspecting and an unprepared world?
Studies have shown that, with the increases in the Earth’s temperature, significant thawing of the Arctic is beginning. A study published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has determined that by the mid-21st Century, 20% to 35% of the permafrost (that portion of the ground in the Arctic regions that stays frozen all year long) will thaw. Further, the United Nations Environmental Program predicts that 30% to 50% of the permafrost will be thawed out by the year 2080.
It is also predicted that by 2040, a mere 25 years away, only fringe ice will remain in Northern Canada and North Greenland. Left will be only be, what is referred to as the Last Ice Area, as a significant amount of pack ice will disappear from the Canada Arctic Archipelago in the coming decades.
If these areas lose their ice due to temperature, what is to stop the Blobs from thawing and coming back to life and advancing upon populated areas?
Thawing may not be the only problem. A potential food supply, if maintained, could slow the Blobs’ movement toward human populations. But even that is now dwindling. Studies predict that, over the next 35 to 50 years, polar bear populations are expected to decline 30%. This is not only due to the lack of ice, but also due to the steady decline of the polar bear’s prime food source, the harp seal.
If we look at a timeline, consider that, by 2050, there is a loss of up to 35% of the permafrost, coupled with a nearly 30% loss of the wildlife. Add to it the re-animation of at least one Blob. The mathematics provides an equation for catastrophe. The Blob thaws. There is little wildlife for it to ingest in the area, as polar bears and seals have declined. Therefore, it must move on to feed.
The indigenous people of Northern Canada would be its first victims. When the Spanish Flu made the rounds in 1919, it was weeks or months before anyone went to see if the Eskimos were affected by the virus. The villages of igloos were silent. The dead lay inside. Whole settlements were wiped out. Could empty villages herald the arrival of the Blob, too late to stop its advance? Unchecked, a Blob could move through Canada and be at the US Border by the end of the century.
There are worse scenarios.
What if the two Blobs thaw simultaneously?
If one moves in one direction and the other in another, not only would the Americas be at risk, but a second Blob could move through Russia, into Europe or Asia, finishing in Africa. With two Blobs on the move, speculation could be for a quiet Earth by the year 2250.
What if the two Blobs meet and combine?
Remembering that the 1972 Blob is actually part of the 1958 Blob, the two are of the same genetic structure. Recombination would not only be possible but likely! The size of the combined Blob would be too large for conventional methods to freeze it. Weaponry to combat this eventuality would have to be developed, hopefully in time. Even then, a singular Blob of that size could be unstoppable.
If ever there was a time to cut greenhouse gases and auto emissions, to conserve, preserve and recycle, now is it. The Blobs could, one day, cover the planet. Our very future is at stake.
Ernie Fink is a visiting lecturer at numerous colleges throughout the United States and Canada. He was never actually invited to them, but he has been known to visit them and lecture until campus security could be contacted. We at Bloody Whisper are hoping to recoup some of the legal costs involved in his appearance here. Happy Earth Day!