(AP) – The carcass of a giant blue whale that’s been submerged off the Oregon coast for more than three years is being hauled to the surface so it can be reassembled, studied and put on public display.
Oregon State University said Friday that the dead whale washed ashore near Gold Beach, Oregon in 2015.
It’s extremely rare for a blue whale to wash ashore intact, as the creatures can be the length of two school buses.
Scientists removed 58 tons of its flesh and then placed the bones in the water off Newport, Oregon so scavengers could pick them clean.
The university says the 365 bones were brought back to land Thursday, including 18-foot-long (5.5-meter-long) mandibles and a skull weighing 6,500 pounds (2,900 kilograms).
The skeleton’s reassembly will take a year.