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Whale Found Dead in Truong Sa Island

A six-ton, 12-meter long whale was found dead in Truong Sa (Spratly) Island and brought to Ly Son, Quang Ngai Province to be buried.

The carcass was found floating on the water by a fisherman while working on Thursday and brought the animal’s body to his home town in order to be buried. Because of the whale’s enormous size, a customized crane had to be used to remove its body out of the water and onto the shore. The burial was conducted on Sunday morning in a ritual manner since the local fishermen believe that the giant mammal is a God of the Sea. Some people even donated money for the whale’s interment.

According to Deputy Chair of An Hai Commune in Ly Son Duong Minh Nhut, the skeleton will be dug up after five years and taken to the village temple to be worshipped. There are currently twelve whale tombs in Ly Son Island District which local residents devoutly honor. The largest one is located at East Village in An Vinh Commune and called Tan Tomb. It is also the most popular since it is where both the biggest and oldest whale skeletons can be found, in fact many remains dating back as far as and even more than 200 years old.

Because of the islanders’ strong belief in the god-like ability of the animal and the island’s abundant number of whale tombs, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Quang Ngai Dr. Nguyen Dang Vu remarked that Ly Son Island District may well be recognized as “The Museum of Whale Skeletons of Vietnam.” With such a solid religious conviction and infallible dedication, it may well be.

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