Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: A massive whale carcass was discovered floating off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah on Thursday. Measuring an impressive 31 meters in length, the lifeless behemoth was found by a local fisherman, Nukhatha Humaid Al-Zaabi, approximately 8 kilometers from the picturesque Al Jazeera Al Hamra Creek.
Al-Zaabi recounted to Gulf News his startling discovery, saying he came across the whale’s remains during a fishing trip at 7:30 am.
The find has captivated the local community due to its immense size, which is consistent with that of a “Baleen” whale, a species known to grow up to 31 meters in length and weigh around 3,000 kilograms.
Speculation abounds regarding the circumstances of the whale’s demise.
Al Zaabi proposed several possibilities, including reaching its natural lifespan limit, a collision with a ship, or predation by a killer whale.
He noted that the carcass emitted a strong odour, and various fish were seen feeding on it, indicating the decomposition process was underway.
Videos taken by Al-Zaabi revealed that the whale’s body had already started to decompose, and its tail and lower sections appeared to be white, possibly as a result of decomposition or predation by other marine creatures.
Dr. Saif Al Ghais, the executive director of Ras Al Khaimah’s Environment Protection and Development Authority (EPDA), suggested that the whale likely belongs to the Baleen family, a group of filter-feeding whales.
He explained that the whale’s discovery was made three days ago when it was initially spotted 16 nautical miles away and had been gradually drifting closer to the coast over the past two days.
The authority is closely monitoring the situation and has alerted local fishermen about the whale’s presence, urging them to exercise caution while at sea to prevent collisions.
Furthermore, they are coordinating with specialised authorities to ensure the appropriate measures are taken if the whale washes ashore.
Dr. Al Ghais highlighted that Baleen whales are filter feeders, capable of filtering their food from the sea using comb-like structures, and that the second type of these whales includes species such as the humpback and blue whales.
As the authorities await the whale’s arrival onshore, they anticipate further studies and identification to take place, shedding light on this remarkable find.