Iceland: tourists find dead friends on Snæfellsnes

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About 50 dead friends were found in Iceland. RÚV radio station reported that the mammals were discovered Thursday by tourists on the Snæfellsnes peninsula north of Reykjavik. An American tourist held the video on the remote Löngufjörur beach.

The clip – here in fragments on RÙV – shows dozens of lifeless grindstone bodies in the sand. The tourists had been on a helicopter flight when they made their discovery. They called in the police.

How long the animals have been on the beach is not yet clear – nor is it why they came to the beach in large numbers. Marine biologist Edda Elísabet Magnúsdóttir told RÚV that there could be a number of reasons for this.

Test whales belong to the family of dolphins. They are pack animals with strong social ties, Magnúsdóttir said, so they often stayed with their peers. There are also strong currents in the area. The shallow seabed also makes it difficult for the whales to swim back in the open sea.

Róbert Arnar Stefánsson of the Natural History Institute of West Iceland told RÚV that in recent years it has been increasingly common for whales to be stranded in the region – but rarely in such large numbers.