A blue whale swam onto the beach of abandoned farm Ásbúd on Skagi peninsula in August. The whale had probably been dead for some time when it was found.
The Natural History Museum of Iceland immediately expressed interest in the whale’s skeleton. It is most unusual that a blue whale drifts ashore. Only a few instances are recorded of this in Iceland. The blue whale is not hunted anywhere in the world and has been totally protected since 1960. Blue whales are the earth’s largest animal. They can grow as long as 30 meters and weigh up to 150 tons. You can read about them on the National Geographic web.Photo HH. Nordursigling Whale Watching, Húsavík
This particular animal was over 23 meters long and four to six meters wide. Soon after the carcass drifted ashore, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History expressed interest in getting the skeleton of the blue whale. The Icelandic government gave the institute a special grant of ISK 2 million (13.000 Euros, 17.000 USD) for the project. Work on cutting the meat of the bones started immediately and the skeleton has already been moved to Hafnarfjördur where the bones will be cleaned in the boilers of Hvalur hf. This is a very slow process and may take three years.
Jón Gunnar Ottósson, head of the Icelandic Institute of Natural History says that only four blue whale skeletons exixt in the world.
In the future the skeleton will be among five million artifacts in the new building of the institute in Gardabaer, a suburb of Reykjavík.
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