Archeologists from the Skagafjördur Heritage Museum in north Iceland found the carcass of a blue whale on a beach by the abandoned farm Ásbúd on Skagi peninsula on Monday.
Whale watching in Iceland. Blue whales are among the species seen on such tours. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The whale is 21.8 meters long and has probably been dead for some time, as Jacob Kasper, a specialist at the Icelandic Marine Research Institute who took samples from the carcass on Wednesday, told Morgunbladid.
According to Gudmundur Gudmundsson, substitute for the director of the Natural History Museum of Iceland, the museum is interested in the whale’s skeleton.
“We […] want to exhibit it in some place which facilitates such a prize. We thought it was right to react immediately because this is in fact the only way to acquire a sample of such a whale—they are totally protected,” he explained.
Gudmundsson said it is very rare for carcasses of blue whales to drift ashore. “It has happened in this country before but not in recent decades.”
Blue whales are the earth’s largest animal. They can grow as long as 30 meters and weigh up to 150 tons.