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Mystery of enormous 60-foot whale washed up dead on Donegal island

The enormous baleen whale had been dead for about two weeks. How it died is a mystery however.
Nov 7th 2017, 6:40 PM 42,555 55

20171106_121514 Rachael Earley (pictured) gives some scale to the massive size of the dead whale Source: Rachael Earley

MYSTERY SURROUNDS THE circumstances which have seen a giant whale wash up dead on an island off the Donegal coast.

The enormous Baleen whale was first reported to be in the area of Arranmore Island last Friday afternoon, when Rachael Earley’s father, coxswain to the local lifeboat, was called out to investigate something floating in the water off the island coast.

w4 Source: Facebook/Arranmore Blue Ferry

w3 Source: Facebook/Arranmore Blue Ferry

w2 Source: Facebook/Arranmore Blue Ferry

w1 Source: Facebook/Arranmore Blue Ferry

“It was floating off the east of the island, and birds were picking at it,” Rachael, herself office manager with the Arranmore Island ferry, told “That was Sunday evening.”

And then yesterday it was washed up on the shore.

Rachael estimates the whale to be about 20 metres (60 feet in length).

Donegal is relatively foreign territory for the baleen whale, which is normally to be found in the more southerly waters around Ireland.

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“The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group say it’s been dead for about two weeks, though we’ve no clue how,” Earley said.

There are no marks on it. I thought there’d be a bad smell as well, but there was none.

Whether the mystery will be solved or not is another thing.

“I’m not sure if anyone will be investigating what happened,” says Rachael. “We may never know.”

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Cianan Brennan


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