Investigators are bewildered over how a massive humpback wound up dead in the Amazon jungle, miles from its natural habitat.
Mystery swirls around how a humpback whale wound up dead in the Amazon jungle miles from its natural habitat.
Scientists rushed to find the carcass of the massive mammal, which reports estimated at 11 metres long and six metres wide, after videos of the unfortunate creature appeared online.
The animal weighs 10 tonnes and was found in a woodland area of Brazil that is about 50 feet from the sea. OK, that’s not that far, but if you were a dead whale, you would struggle to get out of the sea at all, let alone into the woods.
Investigators were initially stumped because the animal didn’t appear to have any wounds.
The humpback was discovered last Friday on the island of Marajo, at the mouth of the Amazon river. It was found at a place called Araruna Beach in the undergrowth. The position of the whale is even stranger because it happened during the Amazonian winter, when freshwater rivers flood.
Normally whales are only found in the Amazon Basin during the summer, when salt water penetrates rivers.
The best guess that the scientists can come up with is that the whole creature was thrown out of the water and up into the woods by rough seas and high tides.
The whale was estimated to be roughly a year old, and it is theorised the animal lost its mother during a migration.
In a Facebook post, the NGO said they suspected the animal was a calf, and had become entangled in the mangroves after being flung ashore by high waves.
The Maritime Herald suggested the animal may have been killed by swallowing marine plastics, and then the body washed up on shore.
Dirlene Silva, from SEMMA – the Brazilian environmental, health, and sanitation department – told local media: 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.”
icho D’Agua’s president and marine specialist Renata Emin 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.
“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.”
You see, the whales aren’t supposed to be there. They’re usually in the Bahia area between August and November. They then migrate up to Antarctica.