Residents in the English town of Hartland Quay in Devon were shocked when a massive creature washed up on a nearby shore.

The animal had a whitish-gray appearance and was about 35 feet long.

While it appeared to be dead, an expert was called in to determine this for certain.

No one was completely sure what the creature’s species was, but the most popular theory among the townspeople was some type of whale. 1 2 3 4

Once that theory was formed, it seemed a matter of some urgency to report the animal to the government in hopes of having it removed. Curiosity had drawn many people to the site of the stranding, and several people with knowledge of marine biology worried that people who got too close could hurt themselves.

Their main concern was that gasses tend to build up in the stomachs of whales after their deaths, causing them to explode. Hence, if this was a whale, its presence would be a liability.

5 6 7 8 9

The expert was able to confirm both that the creature was dead and that it was a whale, though she was uncertain whether it was a minke whale or a fin whale because of its deteriorated condition.

She agreed that getting the whale out to sea was a priority. In the meantime, however, citizens and tourists have been seizing the opportunity to take selfies with a washed-up whale.

Hopefully, this is a fluke, and the residents of Hartland Quay will not be encountering beached whales on a regular basis.