The body of a rare Stejneger's beaked whale washed ashore in Venice Beach Tuesday night, according to environmental group Heal The Bay. The whale, with its dolphin-shaped head, is almost never seen alive, according to the group.
Nick Fash, a marine educator who works at Heal The Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, took photos of the whale, which you can see above.
The whale was a female, according to Heal The Bay, and was covered with bites from another colorfully named sea creature — the cookie cutter shark. The whale is a northern species that does visit the California coast, but is primarily found off the coast of Alaska.
David Janiger of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum's Stranding Response Team loaded the whale onto a flat bed truck and took the whale away for further study. According to the Associated Press, scientists are going to conduct an autopsy of the whale to learn about the whale and how it died.
This was the second time in a week that a rare sea creature appeared in local waters; over the weekend, a rare 18-foot oarfish was discovered along Catalina Island.