Poseidon Belched: Big Whale in Piraeus, Giant Squid in Crete

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

Lovers of marine life needn't seek out aquariums in Greece this December, because the aquarium is coming to them.

Today the hulking body of a whale of indeterminate age and breed found two nautical miles south of the Athens-Piraeus coast was towed ashore to Freatida Beach in Piraeus before being hauled off by municipal authorities, who perhaps learned only latterly that whale removal was in their official remit. Now, had said cetacean been looking for a good vegetarian restaurant he/she would have been sorely disappointed; all of Greece remains under lockdown with restaurants still only open for takeout. They'll remain emphatically closed over what used to be called the holidays.

This follows another beached sea creature incident in Crete, where just the day prior a rare giant squid washed up on the beach of Kokkini Hani, NeaKriti reported. "We did find the squid, a big female one" marine biologist Thanos Nailianis confirmed. "It is a species that lives in the deepest waters and we do not meet it so often."

While parts of the Cretan coast are winter breeding grounds for giant squid, a beached whale in densely populated Piraeus is a rare occurrence.

The whale could have come from further afield in the Mediterranean, but Greece is home to colonies of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal—rarely or never seen in built-up areas.

Read about the "pocket ruins" of Piraeus in this special report for Greece Is, here.

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