If you visit the beach on a regular basis, you've likely come across dead sea creatures or other animals on at least one occasion -- but could you imagine if they were 30 feet long?
On March 8, somebody was walking along a rocky shore near Hartland Quay in Devon, England, when they came across the huge, rotting carcass of a whale exactly that long. Experts believe it had been dead for weeks, as its skin had rotted away and exposed its white blubber. In addition to the many photos taken of the scene, new drone footage has captured the creature's massive size.
People initially thought it was a baleen whale, but an expert has identified it as a fin whale, the second largest mammal in the world. They are also classified as an endangered species.
It's thought to have died in the ocean weeks before being found and then washed ashore. The cause of death is currently unknown.
According to cetacean expert Rob Deaville, around five or six fin whales were found washed ashore in a year, but he says "there is some evidence to say we are seeing more sightings and strandings because their populations are recovering since the ban of whaling in 1986, so it's not always bad news."
The public is being asked to stay away from the mammal because of the dangers of the rocky area and transmittable diseases the whale might be carrying. It's sad to see such a beautiful creature in this state, but also pretty incredible.
(via Daily Mail)