Some whales aren’t content to beach themselves. This blue whale is one of many in a trend that scientists aren’t yet able to explain. While whales may beach themselves due to disorientation or depression, some go an extra mile, or in this case 12 miles inland.
By wriggling at only a few feet per day, some whales will move well beyond the shores and into forests. Urged on by senses we can only guess at, this blue whale, nicknamed “Mork” by the caretakers who attempted to press the giant back to water, managed to move deeper than any other specimen on record, eventually passing two small villages on its hopeless trek from the coast of Austria to its eventual death in Innsbruck.
Human intervention played a small role in that people kept the whale’s skin wet and cool, prolonging its life for longer than would have been natural. This was done in the hope that two Chinook helicopters would be able to arrive in time to haul the beast back to the Indian Ocean, but the pleas for support fell upon deaf ears when Mitt Romney vetoed the petition and allocated the funds toward animal research on kittens to find a “cure” for homosexuality.
[Actual explanation here, via Colossal]