Dead sperm whale washes up on Norfolk coast
- Credit: Mary Williams
A dead sperm whale about 15 metres (50 ft) long has washed on the beach in north Norfolk.
The huge creature was reported high up on the shingle between Weybourne and Kelling Hard on Tuesday, December 1.
Mary Williams, of Millstream House bed and breakfast in Beach Lane, Weybourne, said she had never seen anything like it in the eight years she had lived in the village.
Mrs Williams said: "It's quite high up on the beach. The sea is quite rough at the moment. Its jaw has been dislocated, presumably by it being tossed about by the sea. It looked about 15 to 16 metres long.
"One day in summer we thought we could see three whales swimming along because we could see their fins, but I've never seen anything like this."
Carl Chapman reported on his whale sightings website Norfolk Cetaceans the creature was probably a "sub-adult male, 13.9m in length".
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Mr Chapman added: "The cadaver is in a state of putrefaction having been dead for some time; maybe around three weeks."
Mr Chapman said the whale was likely to be a "grey lump" that was seen floating distantly floating by the wind farm several days ago by Paul Lee of Cromer.
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He said: "It is very likely to be a different individual than the recent animal stranded in The Wash."
Sperm whales can easily be identified by their large, rounded foreheads, which hold a substance called spermaceti.
They have the largest brain of any creature known to have lived on Earth. Although they are no longer hunted, they are still considered an endangered species.
Mrs Williams said although it was not clear what caused the whale to wash up, she hoped it was not linked to pollution in the ocean. She said she had seen an increase in the amount of plastic waste on the beach in recent years, and pleaded with visitors to take their rubbish home.
Mrs Williams said: "Who knows if it's connected, but we know plastic isn't good for the oceans.
"Some plastic has been washed up from the sea, but other stuff you know has been left by visitors to the beach. Please, if you've brought something to the beach, take it home with you, don't stuff it into bins when they're already full."