Fishermen Noticed A Large, Smelly Ball In The Ocean That Turned Out To Be A Dead Whale
It’s tempting to think there’s nothing new under the sun, but it only takes one incredible discovery to remind you that our world is full of mysteries.
Whether it’s an exciting new species or unseen evidence of one that’s long gone, we as humans truly never know what we’re going to come across.
While this is potentially true no matter where in the world you find yourself, it’s especially true in the world’s great oceans. After all, there aren’t many of us hanging around in open water where the deeper down you go, the weirder things tend to get.
Indeed, even the most seasoned marine biologist can be mystified by what the ocean spits out. A research vessel found a purple blob off the coast of California that scientists inside can’t quite make heads or tails of. Today, however, we’re going to look at the other side of the world where a much bigger blob made a much less pleasant impression.
COMMENT and tell us what bizarre things you’ve found in your travels.
When the day began, Mark Watkins and his dad set out to do a little fishing.
They pushed off the Western Australian coast and everything seemed normal.
via Flickr / IDS.photos
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Well, normal for Australia, anyway.
Besides, Watkins had been a fisherman for 21 years by this point, so it wasn’t so easy to surprise him.
via reddit / MakesYouAww
Yet, he was definitely surprised when he saw this massive pink bulge.
He had never seen anything like this before and could only make out that it was smooth and fleshy.
via IFLScience | Facebook / Mark Watkins
When he got closer, the smell started to hit him.
This blob reportedly smelled terrible, like a rotting carcass. That’s what gave Watkins the clue he needed to figure out what this thing was.
via News.com.au | Facebook / Mark Watkins
It turns out that Watkins had found a dead whale.
We’re not sure what species of whale right now, but it was probably either a humpback or a southern right whale because both of them are common in the area.
via NOAA / Wikimedia Commons
READ MORE ON THE NEXT PAGEBut how did the whale get so bloated and blob-like?
Because of all the gas that hangs around inside its stomach. Now usually, a whale can keep that gas under control without ballooning like this.
via News.com.au | Facebook
Yet, it’s a different story when the whale dies.
It then floats belly-up to the surface where the sun’s heat starts beating down on it. Aside from giving the whale its foul bouquet, the sun’s rays cause the gasses to expand and the stomach to swell.
Whales have even been known to explode when this happens.
via National Park Service
Fortunately for Watkins, this isn’t what happened to his discovery.
Instead, some sharks swam up to it and started taking bites out of the carcass. By the time Watkins left the scene, the whale was already starting to deflate.