Nature claims body of Brookings sperm whale

By Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer September 25, 2013 12:04 pm

Whale bones are all that remain of sperm whale that washed ashore near Brookings three months ago. The Pilot/Jane Stebbins
Whale bones are all that remain of sperm whale that washed ashore near Brookings three months ago. The Pilot/Jane Stebbins
The sperm whale that washed ashore on a narrow stretch of a Brookings beach three months ago has decomposed, leaving vertebrae scattered throughout the area near Chetco Point. 

The whale, originally estimated to be 40 feet long, attracted throngs of curious people who had to overcome the stench to reach even the fringe of the beach.

Dead whales and other marine mammals are not uncommon on the Oregon shore, but sperm whales are more rare than the grey whales that migrate annually offshore, officials said.

The beach is now home to merely a short strip of vertebrae, a fin, a jaw bone and a few unidentifiable bones. Just south of the beach in a rocky area lie the rest of the vertebrae and what appears to be the whale’s head.