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Giant blue whale floats belly-up after being killed in a tragic collision with a ship

Floating belly up in the Pacific, this is the unbelievable sight of the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth – killed by a passing ship.

The body of the giant blue whale was found by researchers from Oregon State University in the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of California.

They came across the carcass while out in their small research vessel, the Pacific Storm, operated by the university’s Marine Mammal Institute.

The body of a blue whale floats belly up after being tragically run down by a passing ship in the Santa Barbara Channel off California

Researchers believe the whale may have been hit by a cargo ship in the busy shipping lanes coming out of the city of Los Angeles. Staff at the university have not yet been reached for comment.
The picture first appeared on National Geographic’s website.
Water is churned up around the body of the whale as the research vessel fights to get closer to it, while seagulls perch on its upturned belly.
The Pacific Storm is 84 feet, or just over 25 metres long – meaning this whale must be roughly 22 metres long.
The image is so astonishing it almost looks unreal.
The Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute is well-known for its research on blue whales, even participating in a documentary with National Geographic on the subject.
Blue whales are the largest animal ever to have lived – even larger than the dinosaurs.
They are a sub-species of  baleen whale, feeding mainly on krill, that can grow to up to 30 metres long, and weigh 100-150tonnes.
Their mouths could hold up to 100 people, and their hearts are the size of a small car.
They are long-lived, also, with an average lifespan of 110 years. The blue whale is also one of the largest animals in the sea, capable of making noises as loud as a jet engine – though at frequencies too low for a human being to hear.
The majestic creatures live in all oceans of the world, though they are predominantly found in the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, and just above Antarctica.
By the 1960s they were classified as being on the brink of extinction, and they are still on the endangered list – making the tragic loss of this one all the more poignant.

Posted by on June 13, 2014.

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Categories: Environment

3 Responses

  1. […] Giant Dead Blue Whale (Pic) – National Geographic photo of a floating dead whale. […]

    by Cools Things I Surfed this Week | The Fun Husband on Jun 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm

  2. You spelt “hilarious” wrong. “…being killed in a HILARIOUS collision…”

    by Charlie on Jun 13, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  3. Hello, can you please post some more information on this topic? I would like to read more.

    by KonstantinMiller on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm

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