Why did the whale beach?

This female blue whale beached in 1891 near Wexford, a coastal town in southeast Ireland.

A Blue Whale skeleton

She was probably migrating north when she was caught in shallow waters around Wexford harbour.

We don’t know exactly why this whale got into trouble. Perhaps bad weather could have caused her to lose her bearings.

Once in the shallow waters, the whale got stuck on a sandy ridge called Swantons Bank, and never made it back out to sea.

Hear the story of the whale beaching in the full film

Image credits:

Map of Wexford, 1883 © Denis Murphy via Wikimedia Commons