Decaying Whale Carcass Causes Stink in Plymouth: ‘It's Like Death in a Dumpster'

The remains, about 15 feet long, are so smelly they're keeping neighbors awake at night

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The carcass of a young Minke whale washed ashore on a private beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 17 days ago and, as neighbor Lynn Holdsworth made clear, it is "absolutely disgusting."

The whale -- or what's left of it -- is about 15 feet long. The remains are so smelly they're keeping neighbors awake at night.

Caroline Collins thought it would just go away.

"We thought it would kind of float back out to sea but, with the high tides and everything, it kept floating closer and closer. It wasn't bad at first but then in like three days, you went outside and were choked by the smell," she said.

If this were a public beach, the carcass would likely be long gone. But it's up to the neighborhood homeowners association to arrange for disposal. That takes the proper permits and equipment to haul it to a landfill in Bourne. And the stench is at the mercy of the breeze.

Rare video of two Northern Atlantic Right Whales seeming to hug it out on the surface of Cape Cod Bay is just what you need to see today.

As Holdsworth pointed out: "I live up the hill over on the other side and there are days when you walk outside hoping to smell sea air and all you can smell is dead whale. And it's like death in a dumpster. It's horrible."

She said it's more than just a aesthetic problem.

"It's interfering with our ability to enjoy our homes. My neighbor across the street, her little girl is smelling it in her bedroom at night. Her bedroom is at the back of the house and, when the wind blows, all the odor comes up into her bedroom," Holdsworth said.

The whale was apparently killed by a ship's propeller, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which did an external exam on the carcass.

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