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50 Foot Long Sperm Whale Beached in Florida

whale beached in Florida
Image by WGCU News via YouTube

Whales are the largest species on our earth, and being so big becomes a big problem when they come a little too close to shore. Recently, this happened to a massive (around 50 feet long and 70,000 pounds heavy) sperm whale that was beached in Venice, Florida.

Are Sperm Whale Usually This Huge?

sperm whale
Photo by vitaliy_sokol via Depsoitphotos

To begin with, whales are already the world’s largest species. Amongst whales, the sperm whale is the third-biggest species, with only the blue whale and the fin whale ahead on the list.

So yes – sperm whales are usually this huge. 50 feet is already almost too big for us to comprehend, but some larger males grow even bigger, measuring up to 67 feet.

How Long Will a Beached Whale Last?

The survival of a beached whale is a race against time.

Without the buoyancy of water, their own body weight can crush their internal organs. Dehydration also sets in quickly, and the blowhole can become obstructed by sand, causing it to suffocate.

For these reasons, a stranded whale may only survive for a few hours to a couple of days if there is no human intervention.

A Whale Far Away From Home

Sperm whales are deep-sea creatures, inhabiting the deep waters of all the world’s oceans.

Florida’s coastal waters are far from the sperm whale’s preferred deep-sea habitats. In rough measurements, this whale was hundreds and hundreds and miles away from its usual home in deep gulf waters. 

What Happened To the Beached Whale in Florida?

YouTube video
Adult Sperm Whale Beached in Venice Florida”, Source: YouTube, Uploaded: WGCU News

Upon discovery, experts immediately noted the dangerously low weight and apparent weakness of the stranded sperm whale.

Despite the efforts of local authorities and marine biologists, the whale’s condition only deteriorated, sadly leading to its death shortly thereafter. Authorities have decided to perform a necropsy to better understand the cause of the stranding and the whale’s overall health. 

Sometimes Whales Beach Themselves Intentionally When the End is Near

There is a theory among scientists that some whales may beach themselves intentionally when they are sick or too weak to continue living in the ocean. This behavior is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a natural response to the inevitability of death.

This is similar to dogs wandering off or “hiding” when they feel that their life is about to come to an end. 

Sperm Whale Beached in Florida: Conclusion

pod of sperm whales
Pod of sperm whales. Photo by CoreyFord via Depositphotos

While it is probable that this whale was already in a weak state before it was beached in Florida, its passing is still a tragedy, considering that it’s an already endangered species. Hopefully, the findings from its necropsy will help research, meaning it didn’t die for nothing.

Thank you for reading this article about the whale that was beached in Florida! For more whale content, take a look here:

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