Last weekend officials discovered the carcass of an enormous finback whale in the Mediterranean Sea. The finback whale, or Balaenoptera physalus, is the second-largest animal species on Earth. It measured 65 feet long and is estimated to weigh more than 77 tons, one of the largest ever discovered.
The length and estimated weight make it one of the largest whale corpses ever found in the Mediterranean Sea. The whale was discovered when a young calf swam into Sorrento Harbor in what’s described as a state of distress. Coast Guard officials say that the rammed its head into the harbor wall several times before retreating underwater.
Divers were dispatched and followed the calf underwater and discovered the corpse of the finback whale. Authorities assume that the calf is the offspring of the deceased whale. Marine biologists have been called in to determine what killed the whale. Finback whales can grow to be up to 85 feet long and 80 tons.
They are considered to be an endangered species and are species that have been decimated by commercial whaling over the last century. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that today the biggest threat to finbacks are boat strikes. It’s unclear at this time if a boat strike is what killed this particular whale.
Anyone wondering what the largest animal on Earth is, that would be a blue whale. Blue whales are the largest animal known to exist in recorded history and can reach up to 110 feet long. The largest specimens weigh up to 150 tons. To put that in perspective, more than twice as long as a school bus and three times as heavy as a big rig tractor and trailer.