Whales have been beaching themselves for centuries, but scientists are still unsure of the reason.
The question of why whales beach themselves has perplexed scientists for years. While it is clear that whales are capable of swimming in deep water, why they choose to come ashore and strand themselves on land remains a mystery. The reasons behind whale strandings are not always clear, and even though there have been many studies conducted to try to determine what causes whales to beach themselves, there is still no conclusive answer.
The first recorded incident of a whale stranding itself was in 1712 in Holland. Since then, there have been numerous incidents involving whales beaching themselves on shorelines all over the world. Scientists believe that this is due to a number of different factors including old age, illness or injury. However, the biggest cause is believed to be navigational error. Whales rely on their sense of echolocation (using sound waves) and sonar (using reflected sound waves) to navigate around the ocean and find food. When they get close enough to shoreline, however, these senses become ineffective.