At 8am on Sunday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was alerted by lifeguards that a 52-foot dead whale had washed ashore at Pacific Beach.
Until it was towed back into the ocean Sunday evening, a slew of people surrounded the animal, taking photos, videos, and even going so far as to prod it before lifeguards alerted them on their loud speaker to back away. As the cause of death was unknown, there’s nothing to say there is illness that killed the whale.
In footage that has since made its rounds on social media, it was evident there is blood on the whale’s side, though the public affairs officer of NOAA said that was likely from birds pecking on it, and not a gash made by a propeller. So far, the cause of death of the whale is unknown, but the species was identified to be a fin whale, the second largest species of whale, and could weigh up to 100,000 tons.
The whale was towed into the ocean and sank 1 mile off shore, though lifeguards and the fire department were to keep on eye on it in case it were to wash up on shore again.
Since 2019, more and more whales have been washing up on shores in both the East and West Coast, leaving scientists confused as to why. In Ireland, a whale washed up on shore in the same exact spot a dolphin had been washed up earlier, leaving more questions. The only thing certain is that this is becoming somewhat of a trend, and the only answer scientists can come up with is that the gray while population may be expanding and there may not be enough resources in the ocean, as whales have been washing up on shores slightly emaciated.
The whale that washed up in San Diego was a fin whale, which are more rare than gray whales, making the death even more sad.
If any news on cause of death comes out we will update this story, but until now, it remains a sad reminder of the cycle of life and death in our oceans.