On December 29th, kayakers on the bay side of Island Beach State Park spotted a dead whale. When it washed ashore, it was identified as a Blainville's beaked whale, a rare species of whale that hasn't washed up on the Jersey Shore in 40 years.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center said the whale had been dead at least a week, but a necropsy would be needed to determine a cause of death.

A day after the whale was spotted, a dolphin also washed up on the bay side of Sandy Hook.

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