Dead 80-ft blue whale and fetus (possible boat strike), Northern California
:: Monday, October 11th, 2010 @ 11:11:23 pm
:: Tags: Conservation, marine life, Photo
A 6-month old blue whale fetus lies in the rocks at Bean Hollow State Beach
Yesterday, I drove down to Bean Hollow State Beach (just south of Pescadero Beach at (37.227072, -122.410529 to see the dead 80-foot blue whale that washed ashore last Tuesday. Scientists found at least three fractured vertebrae and hemorrhaging in the whale’s belly, concluding that she may have died as a result of a strike from a large boat. A 6-month old fetus was ejected at some point during the last moments of the whale’s life and was found not far from its 75-ton mother. The baby was pure white — beautiful, really, and a stark contrast to the black rocks upon which it rested.
A couple dozen people were there at the beach to see the carcass of the planet’s largest animal. The stench of rotting whale was tremendous and soaked into my clothing and equipment. My carbon fiber tripod held onto the smell for the longest, requiring over 12 hours before the smell was gone.
Officials say that they are going to allow the enormous carcass to decompose naturally, so it could be there for a few more months.
Update: My friend Dave has posted scans of a beached blue whale in Northern California from around 30 years ago.