When I’ve written about the Amazon rainforest in the past, I described awesome discoveries made by archaeologists who have uncovered a few of the many secrets of the Amazonian region.
And while many people associate the Amazon rainforest with massive, and lush trees, millions of animal species, uncharted territories, and long-lost cities, from time to time we find things that take us by surprise.
One such surprise is hearing that a massive humpback whale appeared in the Amazon.
According to a post by the Brazilian conservation group Bicho D’água, and corroborated by Brazilian News Outlet OTempo, the carcass of an 8-meter humpback whale has been found in the Amazon.
Specifically, the animal was discovered some 15 meters from the river beach on Marajó Island, in the estuary where the Amazon empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The island is bordered by the mouth of the Amazon River to the west and northwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast and by the Pará River, a distributary of the Amazon to the east.
While it is extremely surprising to find the carcass of a massive humpback whale far away from the ocean, scientists say that the animal most likely washed into the river mouth of the Amazon and later ended up on land as the tides pulled back, leaving the animal stranded.
As noted by OTempo, scientists will work o identifying the exact cause of death. They will take samples from the animal in the coming days trying to solve the mystery as to what exactly happened to the animal.
Humpback Whales can grow up to 16 meters (52 feet) in length. And like many other animals around the globe, these animals are on the endangered species list.
They usually migrate tens of thousands of kilometers each year and feed in polar seas before moving to warmer waters where they breed.
But experts note that seeing Humpback whales at this time of the year in Brazil is odd.
It is surprising to find them off the northern coast of Brazil in February when they are normally seen on the northeast coast of Bahia between August and November, before migrating to Antarctic waters in search of food.
“We’re still not sure how it landed here, but we’re guessing that the creature was floating close to the shore and the tide, which has been pretty considerable over the past few days, picked it up and threw it inland, into the mangrove,” marine specialist and Bicha D’Agua project president Renata Emin told the Daily Mail.
Scientists now plan to open up the carcass, collect samples and other evidence for disease analysis.
The Caracas of the animal will most likely not be moved, but scientists say that its skeleton will be sent to the Goeldi Natural History Museum in Belem for future studies.
Video from Unexplained Mysteries below: