Fish gotta swim, bird gotta fly. Pretty simple stuff, but it doesn’t help to explain how a humpback whale’s carcass found itself in the rainforest.
(Whales, of course, aren’t technically fish, but finding one in the forest is unusual in any case.)
The 10-ton, 36-foot long body was found last week, 50-feet from the ocean on the Brazilian island of Marajo.
Locals say they investigated a group of vultures circling near the beach, and found the whale’s body tucked away among mangrove trees.
Wildlife experts guess that the enormous ocean mammal was lifted up out of the sea during a recent storm, when high tides surged over the nearby Araruna Beach.
Even though it’s a logical explanation, it’s totally unusual and experts can’t say for sure that’s what happened.
Whales are known to drive themselves up onto beaches (experts still aren’t sure why they do it) and it’s possible the creature had already beached itself when the tide pushed it into the forest, or that it died in the ocean and was carried to shore before the storm.
There’s an added twist to the whale’s tragic end, because humpbacks are rarely found along Brazil’s northern coast this time of year.
Marine biologists and government officials are dissecting and studying the whale to learn more about it. Despite its enormous size, they say the specimen is actually a one-year-old infant, which could explain how it got lost and wound up on dry land.