Mumbai: 40-foot whale washes ashore on Juhu beach
The dead whale washed ashore at Juhu beach last night; the moonlit creature created a flutter among beachgoers
The strange and unfamiliar sight of a 40-foot-long creature on Juhu beach on Thursday night sent passers-by in a tizzy.
The whale washed up ashore last night with several injuries on its back. Pic/Swarali Purohit
While many wondered whether it was an inflated plastic bag, giant balloon or a huge fish, on closer inspection, the ‘object’ turned out to be a whale.
From a distance, all that onlookers could see was an eerie white halo, which turned out to be the moonlit body of the whale, carried to shore by the waves.
The whale which washed ashore. Pic/Swarali Purohit
Although the exact species is yet to be determined, from the horizontal dorsal fin and the shape of the mouth — suited to suck in large quantities of miniature marine life — it is evident that the creature is a whale.
According to Akram Khan, a lifeguard with the Juhu Beach Lifeguard Association, the whale was first sighted around 8.30 pm.
"Initially, it appeared to be a giant plastic bag or a balloon that had crashed into the sea. On closer inspection, it was obvious that it was a form of marine life that had numerous wounds on its back and had washed ashore with the rising tide," Khan said.
Neville David, president of the lifeguard association said it was the huge mouth of the creature, over 20 feet wide, that was most fascinating.
"It is definitely a whale, but the species or the cause of it being washed ashore has to be ascertained and that can only happen when the tide ebbs and the body is examined by a marine biologist," he said.