Dead beached sperm whale in Bali draws curious onlookers and offerings

 A Balinese Hindu priest makes an offering to a dead sperm whale washed ashore on Batu Tumpeng beach near Denpasar on Bali on March 14, 2016.
A Balinese Hindu priest makes an offering to a dead sperm whale washed ashore on Batu Tumpeng beach near Denpasar on Bali on March 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
A boy plays on the carcass of a beached sperm whale in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia on March 14, 2016.
A boy plays on the carcass of a beached sperm whale in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia on March 14, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
Locals gather around the carcass of a beached sperm whale in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia on March 14, 2016.
Locals gather around the carcass of a beached sperm whale in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia on March 14, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
The 16.2m long sperm whale carcass was found by two fishermen on the morning of March 14, 2016.
The 16.2m long sperm whale carcass was found by two fishermen on the morning of March 14, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

DENPASAR - A beached whale on an east Bali beach drew hundreds of gawkers on Monday (March 14).

The whale was found by Bali fishermen Mr Negah Sunarta, 37, and Mr Nengah Darpa, 35, at Batu Tumpeng Beach, Gelgel Village when they were out catching lobsters, Coconuts Bali reported, citing Indonesian media.

The sperm whale, reported to be about 16 metres, was already dead when they found it, Mr Sunarta said.

Photos on social media showed people climbing on the dead whale to take photos.

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An officer from the Klungkung Department of Fisheries and Marine Affairs said the whale may have been separated from its pod before drifting off, and landing on the East Bali beach, which is along its migratory route.

A Balinese Hindu priest was also seen in photos making an offering to the whale.

A sperm whale was also found beached in Singapore on July 10 last year off Jurong Island.

 

The skeleton of the whale found in Singapore is now on display at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Sperm whales feed mainly on fish and squid, which they are known to dive up to 1,000 metres to hunt.

The giant mammals must hold their breath for up to 90 minutes on such dives, according to National Geographic.

While they can breath on land, a beached whale would quickly die  when out of the buoyant environment of the ocean, as the weight of its body crushes its organs. It can also quickly overheat when out of water.