A tragic and unexplained phenomenon has left around 150 whales beached on the Australian coast, with more than 100 of them now dead. Only 15 of the animals, believed to be short-finned pilot whales, remained alive Friday after they mysteriously beached on Hamelin Bay in Western Australia. A rescue mission was still underway Friday morning in an effort to rescue the few whales that remain alive. “Unfortunately, most of the whales beached themselves on dry land overnight and have not survived,” rescue team leader Jeremy Chick said. “Rescue operations will be hampered by deteriorating weather conditions and we need to ensure the safety of everyone involved before we move the whales.” Scientists have not managed to comprehensively explain why groups of whales end up beaching together in events like this, but possible reasons include mass outbreaks of sickness, sonar signals from naval exercises, and environmental reasons such as water pollutants or unusually high or low temperatures.
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