In the world of the bizarre and freaky, a humpback whale has turned up dead in the middle of the Amazon rainforest – definitely the last place you’d expect to find a dead whale except for maybe the Sahara Desert.
The 36 feet long whale carcass, which weighed 10 tons, was discovered about 50 feet from the sea, in the Amazonian rainforest in Brazil. While 50 feet in theory isn’t that far from the beach, it’s still a considerable length for a whale to travel. This bizarre incident has led to many theories being circulated, though none are concrete at the moment.
The whale was discovered last Friday on the island of Marajo, which is just at the mouth of the Amazon River. The place it was found is called Araruna Beach, in dense undergrowth.
For now, the best conclusion that scientists can rationalize is that the whale was thrown out of the water and up into the forest part by rough seas and high tides.
That possibility could happen, but it’s still highly unusual.
A whole team of specialists have traveled to the location near the beach to try to figure out exactly what happened. It is thought that the mammal is actually a 12 month old calf, but so far there’s no cause of death, much less an answer to the puzzling question: how’d it wind up there.
The team, from the NGO Bicho D’Agua Institute, posted on Facebook a post that suggested that the animal could have gotten tangled in the forest after being tossed ashore by high seas.
The “Maritime Herald” newspaper suggested a theory that the whale could have died from eating plastic. Most people have put forth their thoughts that the creature was dead already when it washed ashore.
Dirlene Silva, from SEMMA – the Brazilian environmental, health, and sanitation department – spoke to the local media saying, “We only found the whale because of the presence of scavenging birds of prey. The vultures were spotted circling above the carcass which was found hidden in the bush some distance from the sea.”
Renata Emin, Bicho D’Agua Institute’s president and marine specialist, said, “We’re still not sure how it landed here, but we’re guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove.
She added, “Along with this astonishing feat, we are baffled as to what a humpback whale is doing on the north coast of Brazil during February because this is a very unusual occurrence.”
This is because whales aren’t usually found there. Normally their migration patterns show that they’re in the Bahia area between August and November. From there they migrate up to Antarctica.
Emin continued, “Humpback whales don’t usually travel to the north. We have a record of one appearing in the area three years ago, but it’s rare.We believe this is a calf which may have been travelling with its mother and probably got lost or separated during the migratory cycle between the two continents.”
There are forensic tests that are being conducted in order to find out what was the cause of death was for the whale. The results from the test can be expected to take up to ten days to come back. That’s too long of a wait for us – we’re so curious. Are you?