These shocking images show a 9.7 metre whale carcass that was found wedged on the bow of a Japanese tanker as it pulled into harbour.
The images were captured in the port of Mizushima in the Japanese city of Kurashiki City on Monday.
The Mizushima Coast Guard Department was called out to the harbour after locals caught sight of the dead whale stuck to the bow of the ship.
The local news site Yomiuri reports that the tanker had sailed through the Pacific Ocean on its way to the harbour and the crew claimed they had no idea that they had hit a whale.
A fisherman who witnessed the tanker pulling into the harbour told local media: "I've been fishing here for decades, but it's the first time I've seen a whale."
A spokesperson from the Coast Guard Department said that they had never witnessed something like this and measures to prevent it from happening again are being reviewed.
Although the exact species of the whale is yet to be confirmed the Institute of Cetacean Research told Yomiuri that the whale appears to be a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).
The fin whale, otherwise known as the Finback whale, is ranked as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
It is the second-longest species of Cetacea on Earth after the blue whale reaching lengths of 27.3 metres (89.6 feet) and a weight of 74 tonnes.
Like all whales, the finback was intensely hunted during the 20th century with an estimated 725,000 of them being killed in Southern Hemisphere between 1905 and 1976 today approximately 100,000 to 119,000 wild fin whales remain in the wild.
No information was released on whether the company that owns the tanker or the crew will be investigated.
The company that owns the tanker was not named.
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