humpback whale outer banks

Humpback Whales Mysteriously Washing Up Near Outer Banks

There's something killing humpbacks off the Atlantic Coast.

According to multiple reports, three humpback whales have washed up near the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the last five days.

The first was a 38-footer, which was found a week ago at the Oregon Inlet after floating just off the beach for at least a day.

The Outer Banks Mammal Marine Stranding Network's Karen Clark told the Island Free Press that officials took skin samples from the carcass, but still haven't been able to determine a cause of death.

Just five days later, two more juvenile humpbacks beached along the barrier islands, which run across the North Carolina-Virginia border.

A Currituck County Sheriff's deputy found one, a 33.5-footer, Saturday night in Corolla, North Carolina, according to a report from WTKR.

The Center for Wildlife didn't find any "signs of scavenging or trauma," so it's now performing a necropsy, which it hopes will shed more light on the seemingly inexplicable deaths.

"As we've gotten inside, it's really been a lot more decomposed than we really kind of anticipated to see," Clark told WAVY in an interview. "We just took off the blubber on the other side. We did find some bruising underneath the blubber surface, so it's possible that it could've had some sort of trauma to its side."

The other was spotted in Virginia's Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge near Sandbridge.

"In our region, we typically get two or three in a year, and you know, we're in February and we've had two already here in North Carolina, so the numbers are a little bit higher than we normally get," Clark said.

We'll keep you updated here at Wide Open Spaces as this story continues to progress.