New Whale Species Discovered In Alaska -- Beached Whale Carcasses And A Skeleton Hanging In A High School Gym Belong To New Type Of Beaked Whale

Alap Naik Desai

Multiple whale carcasses that washed up on desolate Alaskan beaches, as well as a skeleton hanging in a high school gym, belong to a new species of whale, confirmed scientists.

A new species belonging to the beaked whale family has been confirmed after studying a dead whale that washed up on Alaska's St. George Island in June 2014. The new variant surprisingly had a skeleton hanging from the ceiling in a high school gymnasium in the Aleutian Islands but went unnoticed until recently. Biologists have been able to identify and confirm it was indeed a new species after the results of a DNA test came in.

The newly discovered species is certainly unique. These black whales feature a bulbous heads and beaks like porpoises. The scientific community assumed what the fishermen saw was a dwarf variety of more common Baird's beaked whales, a slate-gray animal.

"It's just so exciting to think that in 2016 we're still discovering things in our world—even mammals that are more than 20 feet long. "

"We don't know how many there are, where they're typically found, anything. But we're going to start looking. Clearly this species is very rare and reminds us how much we have to learn about the ocean and even some of its largest inhabitants."

"We don't know how many there are, where they're typically found, anything. But we're going to start looking. Clearly this species is very rare and reminds us how much we have to learn about the ocean and even some of its largest inhabitants."

Beaked whales are mysterious creatures, and they are notoriously difficult to study, primarily because they spend extended amounts of time in deep water. According to studies, the mammals can reach up to 40 feet in length. After spending close to 90 minutes hunting for squid in the depths of the ocean, these whales surface only for a few minutes to replenish their oxygen supply. Unlike other whales, these creatures travel in small numbers and have the remarkable ability of blending themselves perfectly into their surroundings, shared Morin.

[Photo by Jens Kuhfs/Getty Images]

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