A DEAD sperm whale, 35 feet in length, weighing an estimated 30 tonnes, washed ashore at Skegness Beach.
The massive sea mammal was first spotted near the bottom of Skegness Pier in the early hours of Saturday morning.
News of the rare occurrence soon spread, prompting crowds to gather, hoping to take a glimpse at the fascinating yet sombre spectacle
Julie Hamilton who was visiting Butlins from Leicester was saddened to see such a macabre site.
“We came down to have a look because it’s a once in a lifetime experience to see such a rare thing but it’s really sad, I love animals and it’s always awful when you see any wildlife destroyed,” she said.
And Skegness resident Ivan Frost was amazed by the sheer enormity of the whale.
He said: “It’s unbelievable - I’ve never seen anything so large washed up on the beach before.”
Large gashes along its spine indicate the majestic creature died from a collision with a boat and could have been dead for several days before finally washing ashore.
Male sperm whales undertake vast migratory journeys and are abundant in nearly all of the earth’s oceans, though they prefer deep waters to hunt their predominate prey - the deep sea squid.
They rarely venture into shallow waters as naturalist Tony Burgess who visited Skegness to witness the spectacle explained: “If they get into shallow waters the weight of their bodies on their lungs makes it difficult for them to breathe.
“It’s always so sad when you see a great creature like that dead.”
East Lindsey District Council has employed the services of local waste disposal firm Sid Dennis and Sons to remove the creature.
When the tide retreats this evening it is expected to haul the whale inland and bury it, before disposing of it fully on Monday morning.
The last recorded whales to be spotted on Skegness Beach were in 2006, when two bottled nosed whales washed ashore prompting a rescue mission which ultimately proved unsuccessful.