In a truly unfortunate series of events that has nothing to do with Lemony Snicket, the nation of New Zealand was struck with terror. Was it those weird dragon things that are attacking Matt Damon on the Great Wall of China? No, it’s something far worse: beached whales.
What is believed to be one of the worst whale beachings in New Zealand’s history occurred this Friday morning when more than 400 whales turned up on the coast on Farewell Spit in South Island. Many have died as a result.
Volunteers numbering in the 500s rushed to the scene, but the number of dead whales can certainly make it taxing for some. There have been some rescues, but nearly three-quarters of the whales have died as a result of the incident.
“It can be really quite distressing seeing so many dead whales,” Kath Inwood, who works for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. “People need to be resilient and handle that and then get on with what needs to be done.”
Thing is, no one is entirely sure what caused the massive beaching. Some believe the incident occurred when the whales chased their prey too close to land to it simply being God’s chastisement for what these bastards did to Pinocchio. My own theories of the whales trying to slowly evolve back into land creatures aside… this is slightly less bizarre than you would think if you factor New Zealand into the picture… which you should because, well, that’s where it happened.
Whales end up washed up on the beach all the time at Farewell Spit. In fact, the area has been dubbed something of a “whale trap.” That said, the sheer number of whales that ended up beached is really quite wild and is said to have actually shocked the residents who are used to this sort of thing.