A few weeks ago the body of a beluga whale was found far inland
, 1000 miles away from the ocean, washed up on the bank of the Tanana River in Alaska. No one seems to have any clue how the thing got there. Sylvia Brunner, a researcher at the University of Alaska Museum of the North speculates that
"The whale could have died in the river last fall and frozen.... On the other hand, the whale could have entered the river this spring seeking fish heading for the ocean. After dying, it could have begun 'cooking from inside out, with all that blubber layer.'"
But given the unlikeliness of a whale traveling that far inland, researchers did consider the possibility of a hoax, though they were pretty quick to rule this out. Link Olson, a curator at the museum, noted that:
Perpetrating a hoax along a remote section of river with the body of a whale was highly unlikely... "If you were ever close to a dead marine mammal, even for a few hours, you would know why no one in their right mind would do that."
Unless it was a crazed prankster like Porky Bickar
who airlifted the thing in, just to mess with people's minds. Or, another possibility, the whale is a rare subspecies of beluga: the Upland Beluga, similar to the better known Upland Trout
, a type of fish that nest in trees and are scared of water.