The world's biggest toothed predator receives an ignoble send-off.

Let this be a lesson to you, kids: When you die, you could be poked, set on fire, and painted with the name of a rodent-themed motorcycle club.

At least that's what happened to a sperm whale found a couple weeks ago at Mori Point south of San Francisco. What killed the 48-foot long creature is unclear. When it appeared a couple weeks ago, its body seemed emaciated. But scientists have found no signs of shark attacks, disease, or boat injuries.

What is clear what happened after researchers left. Chunks of the whale's blubber were burned. And down the side of the beast somebody scrawled, "EAST BAY RATS MOTORCYCLE CLUB." It may be the worst or best instance of viral marketing, depending on your views of "all publicity is good publicity."

Similar to when a whale was defaced with frat letters last year in Atlantic City, locals have taken a dismal view of the Mori Point graffiti. Reports CBS:

[Savina] Hong had brought her kids to check out the circle of life on the beach, but instead found the violated carcass.

"It's awful. I think it's bad enough what happened to the poor whale. Why did they have to go and make it worse?" Hong said.

The president of the bike club, which is based in Oakland, got in touch over email on Friday but didn't claim or deny responsibility. The group did issue a rather salty, tongue-in-cheek statement on Facebook, partially quoted below. Note the graffiti was not Photoshopped, as there's close-up, nasty video of the tagged carcass. (The video contains profanity.)

In light of current events, we thought it necessary to issue the following statement: We do not take any responsibility for the alleged whale spray painting incident, which we believe was photoshopped. However, we do take responsibility for beaching that whale, and in fact, all whales. We will discontinue this practice if we are given one million dollars so that we can bring back Lucky Lager.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  2. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  3. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  4. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  5. Multi-colored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.