Watch a group of people save a beached whale


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In the latest instance of humans being awesome, a group of beachgoers in Australia came together to rescue a whale that washed ashore and became stranded in the sand.


The rescue happened on May 20, when people at Australia’s Hervey Bay Beach noticed a dwarf minke whale stuck on the beach and unable to return itself to the water. They instantly flew into action, pouring water on the whale with nearby beach buckets and draping a cloth over it to keep it moist. They knew they had to keep it from becoming dehydrated as they waited for the tide to come back in.


Meanwhile, marine specialists from Queensland parks and wildlife used the opportunity to collect data about the dwarf minke whale, including taking its measurements.


Finally, when the tide returned, the rescuers helped ease the massive marine mammal back into the water with the help of a stretchy band that they wrapped around the frightened creature. After a good deal of teamwork and a lot of elbow grease, the whale was safely pushed back into the water … until it swam right back near the beach and had to be helped a second time. (Whales can become disoriented in these situations.)


The second rescue was a success, and the whale even gave everyone a good soaking with some slaps of its huge tail fin on the surface before swimming away!


Watch a video of the whole rescue below from Hervey Bay Snake Catchers on YouTube.

“[It was] a heartwarming moment of community spirit and animal rescue. It was wonderful to see,” spectator and local snake catcher Drew Godfrey told Newsweek. (Yes, local snake catcher sounds like a deeply Australian career to have).

Godfrey’s YouTube channel was the one that posted the viral video of the rescue.


Known as cetacean stranding, or beaching, these incidents can often be fatal for whales. They often die due to dehydration or when the incoming tide covers their blowholes. No one exactly knows why these strandings occur, but experts have theorized it may be due to changing water temperatures and geomagnetic disruption caused by solar storms. Other times, whales may follow animals like porpoises into shallow waters, where they become stuck and cannot return to deeper water, eventually washing up on shore.


Dwarf minkes, which live in the Southern Hemisphere, were first discovered in the 1980s and, despite their name, can grow to be as large as a double-decker bus. They can live for almost 60 years, and they are known to be friendly and gentle.


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This art is garbage. Literally


Washed Ashore is hoping to teach people about marine debris and plastic pollution through epic, giant artworks of sea creatures … all of which are made from, you guessed it, ocean garbage.


According to Washed Ashore’s website, the organization works with artists and scientists to educate the public on how consumer habits can cost sea creatures their habits, homes and even their lives. They hope to teach exhibit-goers that “every action counts.” The traveling exhibit has been on display at the U.S. State Department, United Nations, The Smithsonian National Museum’s Ocean Hall and more. You can learn more about Washed Ashore’s mission online.


Check out some of Washed Ashore out-of-this-world, large-scale sculptures and wall pieces below!


This great white shark seems even more, well, great, when you remember it’s made from debris from the ocean!


The detail on this giant penguin named Gertrude is stunning!


This gigantic jellyfish is larger than life!


This colorful turtle was created against the backdrop of its very own ocean, complete with algae and a jellyfish friend!


The Whale Ribs arch is a popular attraction since visitors can walk through it and marvel and the craftsmanship from both inside and outside the arch.


Priscilla the Parrot is a colorful feat that will surely capture your attention.


SeeMore offers viewers a rather realistic depiction of a sea lion, considering it’s made completely from sea rubbish.


This blue marlin artwork is one of many from Washed Ashore that is sturdy enough to be displayed outside!


The magnificent red octopus truly shows off how garbage can be turned into a work of art.


This giant shark comes with its own patch of sea algae, coral and more!


You almost won’t believe this sturgeon is made from garbage; it looks so realistic and life-like!


This patriotic bald eagle stands tall with its wings outstretched to the sky.


One of many jellyfish made through Washed Ashore, this gumdrop jellyfish stands tall over a bed of colorful sea coral.


The tufted penguin’s hair truly does look like, well, hair! And its orange eyes, beak and feet stand out against its black coloring.


The blue and orange trigger fish floats atop some algae and rope.


You’ll fall in love with this adorably cute polar bear named Daisy!


This whale tail statue really shows off just how big the whale is!


Hugo isn’t the only humpback on display! Meet Grace, who has an equally impressive and artistic tail.


The silvertip shark is showed off through this model made entirely of ocean debris.


This heartwarming depiction of two penguins will almost make you forgot about the fact that they’re made from trash found in the ocean.


Edward “swims” with a jellyfish in this colorful ocean display!


Natasha hopes you think twice about littering as she catches some waves!


With its flippers outstretched, Brody stands tall over visitors.


This happy seal sits on a bed of colorful items found deep beneath the ocean’s surface.


Zorabelle is one of man penguins on display at Washed Ashore’s traveling exhibits.


Finn looks like it’s practically swimming in this extravagant sculpture.


Leo is so tall that we couldn’t even capture its whole body in one photo!


Creamsicle’s tentacles are both impressive and elegant!


Marigold is a colorful jellyfish made with primarily yellow, orange and white debris.


This blackberry jellyfish is another massive sculpture made for Washed Ashore’s traveling exhibits.


This epic salmon swims on a sea of vibrant blue water, complete with white foam on top of the wave it’s swimming on.


This adorable river otter stands on a bed of rock with flowers and algae peeking out of its crevices.


Angus is made out of vibrant yellow debris and floats on top of a bed of algae.


This clownfish stands out against a pastel-colored sea anemone.


Bella the blue angelfish certainly looks angelic on top of this vibrant coral reef!


Flip Flop is one of many artworks designed to be displayed on the walls of Washed Ashore’s exhibit spaces.


Fish Bite is a green and blue artwork displayed on a exhibit space’s wall.


Stella is a green, white and yellow seahorse with features made from various pieces of ocean debris, including brooms, mops and combs.


This patriotic sea star is made out of, you guessed it, pieces of red, white and blue ocean trash.


These incredibly detailed masks almost look like they’re straight out of a museum, but they’re actually straight out of the ocean!


Like what you see? You can learn more about the artwork and where they’re visiting next on



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Featured Image Credit: Hervey Bay Snake Catchers / YouTube.