Seven sperm whales have been found dead on a beach in South Australia in an extremely rare mass stranding.
The whales were discovered on Parara beach on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia after they found themselves caught in a low tide.
Six of the whales found on the beach were already dead, with another dying as bystanders were unable to save it.
An eighth whale, which was also spotted struggling in the shallow waters, was eventually guided back into deeper water by environment workers.
It is unclear why the whales found themselves in such shallow waters, but locals believe that the whales got stuck while hunting for salmon.
Another theory is that one of the whales moved into shallower waters due to illness and, keen to help the sick whale, the pod followed.
Samples are to be taken from the whales and tested at the South Australian Museum in an attempt to try and find out why the pod found themselves so close to shore.
According to the South Australian Whale Centre co-ordinator Leah Pippos, the situation is extremely rare and that sperm whales have not been seen in the area of for over 25 years.
Local officials are yet to decide how the whales, which way up to 50 tonnes each, are going to be removed from the beach.
A spokeswoman from the local environment agency has advised locals to avoid swimming too close to the whale carcasses, as the decomposing bodies are likely to attract sharks.Reuse content