Stench of rotting whale emanates from near Barbra Streisand's home. Just another day in Malibu.

"Dead Malibu whale decomposing near stars' homes." The Los Angeles Times wins the week with the headline for an article about a 40-foot, 40,000-pound fin whale that washed up at Little Dume, a small beach between Paradise Cove and Point Dume State Beach in Malibu. It smells like Whale Death, and the rich and famous bipeds nearby are not amused.

Officials can't figure out what to do about it, and which agency is responsible. Your suggestions in the comments.

The spit of sand is at the foot of a towering cliff, below Barbra Streisand's neighborhood that features massive estates of groomed lawns, swimming pools and tennis courts.

No government agency has stood up to remove the whale. By Friday, it appeared the whale might just be left there. The smell, residents said, was slowly fading.

Read the full article at And in related news, a group of Chumash descendants held a ceremony for the deceased cetacean. Ms. Streisand is doing fine.


    1. Or you could try burning it.  I hear whale oil burns quite nicely.  

      No problems with fire in that area, right?

        1.  I say let the MythBusters at it.  If they can make an entire cement truck disappear, a dead whale should be a swim in the aquatic park.

    1. We were leaf peeping in the Rockies this fall.  On the side of the road I saw a dead eagle and it didn’t look to me like it had been there long, because it still had its tail feathers.  Or it might have been there all week, as other people passed by and considered as I did, the possible consequences for claiming the carcass of a federally protected species. 

      If I had seen the bird in Washington state, I could have made a call to one of several Native Americans I knew at the time, and someone would have swung by to see if the carcass was still there, and picked it up.  The feathers would have been put to use.

      I’m wondering if there was no one in California who could have legally claimed the meat, and put it to use before it started to rot.

  1. Reminds me of the Fraiser episode when a rotting seal ruins Niles’ dinner party at his beach house. They can’t get it off the beach, so they put a negligee and perfume on it.

  2. “biped” implies whales are quadrupeds, which they aren’t: they’re tetrapods, implying the humans in question are bipods.

    1. Either you’re making an obscure joke that I don’t get in the slightest or you need to look up the definitions of biped and quadruped.

      Accurately referring to humans as animals with two feet (biped) in no way implies that whales have four feet (quadruped).

        1. I know the definition. Still don’t get the joke sorry.

          Also, no they don’t. They evolved from animals that had legs so they’re still classed as tetrapods, but they haven’t had legs for tens of millions of years.

          1. All right, you’ve forced me to play my hand: Barbra Streisand is a two-legged camera mount. There.

            My regrets to Ms. Jardin – I honestly tried being oblique. To the whale too, which pre-ship had no discernible legs, but as a pile of bones on the beach, does.

  3. Remember this video from 1970s on the Oregon coast? Worked like a charm except they needed more dynamite to make for smaller chunks. That or perhaps the Mythbusters could help.

  4. I’m pretty sure beaching yourself in order to die is against HOA rules and regulations. $500 fine for the first offense. Just sayin’…

    – Uptight Next-Door Neighbor

  5. Can’t Barbra or Bono just use some of their vast wealth to have some of the little people get rid of it?  Frickin’ welfare queens.

    [BTW, it’s ‘Barbra’. Even the LA Times got it wrong.]

      1. I’m wondering why they think the California Coastal Commission should be paying to get rid of their dead whale when they can well afford to just take care of it.

        1. And when they demanded that the beach be made private for their convenience. 

          More welfare for the rich – privatize the benefits, socialize the costs.

    1. By jove, you’re right! I can’t say that I’ve ever noticed that before.

      Perhaps the LA Times was thinking of Barbara Walters, in terms of spelling it.

  6. An (expensive and lengthy) investigation should be mounted to discover why the sea-gulls and crabs are slacking off, and what their demands might be.

    1.  The Melbourne museum has a rather nice whale skeleton from a dead one that washed up on the Great Ocean Road. The display comes with a nicely grotesque video on the cleaning of the skeleton.

  7. Too bad the whale wasn’t butchered and the meat donated to various zoos and aquariums (aquarii?) The skeleton would be a great donation, as well.

    1.  I meant if it was fresh enough when it first washed ashore. Still, the skeleton would be nice to save. Anyway, you’d think this time of the year it would get taken out to sea again during a storm.

  8. The same thing happened at Pappy Bush’s place in Kennebunkport in the 1980s. Some local fishermen offered to tow it off the rocks and out to sea, but noooo. Somebody had the bright idea to load the carcass up with C-4, so they called in a Navy EOD team. Let’s just say the smell was much worse when they were done. The fishermen got to tow what was left out to sea.

  9. Apparently this dead whale was hit by a ship and is an endangered fin whale.  :(

    According to the International Whaling Commission, ship strikes are difficult to quantify due to lack of reporting.  However, they also stress that curbing ship strikes (along with whaling) is what will determine the preservation vs. extinction of many whale species:

    Chalk this up as another terribly fucked up crime against the environment and in this case, whales, and their imminent extinction, thanks to human “progress.”

    1.  ship strikes are difficult to quantify due to lack of reporting

      What are the consequences to a ship’s captain and owner of reporting such a strike???

  10. Remember the South Park episode where the kids “freed” the whale and then shipped it to Mexico and had the Mexicans send it to the moon?  That’s the obvious solution.

  11. I can’t help but believe that this wouldn’t be news if it was near the homes of a bunch of poor people.

    1. I think you’ve got something there. This event is hardly as rare as the media is making it sound. Unless Southern California differs from Northern California even more than I thought.

      I regularly walk my dog at Ocean Beach and Fort Funston in San Francisco. I’ve  had the visual and intellectual joy of examining the carcasses of whales, sea lions, seals and sharks at least a dozen times in the last couple years.

      Every time a really stinky carcass (read: LARGE) washes up and remains on the beach, the most popular conversational topic among beach-goers is, “When the hell are they going to get rid of that thing?” and “Who’s responsible for doing it?” We still don’t know.

      Eventually the carcass disappears courtesy of a storm, often after being picked clean by birds and crabs and micro-organisms.

      The dogs love the carcasses. They seem to think nature has declared a Holiday of Super-Delicious Sniffs. Good times for the canines.

      1. Heh, I bet we’ve walked past each other. Mine’s the golden retriever named Sammy.

        I do see the reasoning for letting nature take its course though. Circle of life and all that. Still, I don’t remember the last time we had to wait for a humpback to decompose.

  12. Can’t get past the pay wall, but if they can’t tow it, why isn’t a bulldozer sand burial an option?

  13. Jesus in a sidecar, just let the thing decompose and wash away. 

    I hate the entitled rich, with their perceived entitlements. Me, I’d be just an unassuming, unentitled rich person, should the circumstance ever obtain. (Note to fate – feel free to test my assertion and see if I become a dick. Make me your guinea pig).

    1.  I see where you’re coming from, but it turns out that whale worked in a steel mill.  It really should’ve stuck to its own neighborhood.

  14. So far nobody has mentioned the other thing that happens in situations like this – the fly factor.  The swarm of insects that arrive and thrive when there’s a carcass of this size, can grow to… erm, let’s put it this way, if you lived there, it would feel like biblical proportions.

  15. Cremation on site. As long as the wind is blowing out to sea, no real problem. (Well, some whale oil might soak into the sand, but they’ll have to replace all that anyway, since rotten whale corpse fluid has already soaked in. They’re rich, they can afford it. Half of the residents have probably already decamped to their other houses for the duration, anyway.) 

  16. It’s all right now; the HOA paid somebody to tow it away to somebody else’s backyard. Okay, now off to bed with you!

  17. I feel like there’s a joke in here somewhere about the Streisand Effect, but I can’t quite bring it in for a landing.  If only she didn’t want news of this whale thing published…

  18. They said it was close to Bob Dylan’s Malibu house.  What?!  The socialist, common man’s spokesman, heir to Woody Guthrie, Obama supporter is living among the upper crust, exclusive of exclusive, ultra-rich elite?

  19. Kind of sucks that the main focus in the news has been the fact that some celebrities had to feel an unpleasant smell, rather than the  fact that whales are being struck and killed by ships.

  20. Seems one of them could take five minutes and post a “labor gig” on craigslist. $8/hr. labor and a $200 roll-off, and it’s problem solved. Or post it in the “free” section ;)

  21. The government agencies are doing exactly what they should be doing for this circumstance. Nothing. Let it stay there. I’ve had dead whales on my favorite beach before. Nature took care of ’em.

    1. The carcass disposal is up to the land owner….so…a federal organization is not on the hook for it………………

      1. Legally the beach itself is public property, even if the people who own the surrounding land went out of their way to keep out the unwashed masses.

        1. I was taught that only “the wet sand” is public property (i.e., the beach below the mean high-tide mark.)  Is this still the case?  If it is, I’d imagine at least part of the whale carcass is on private property.

          1. I’m having a hard time imagining the mechanics of how the tide could possibly carry a whale carcass above the high-tide line.

            Plus, just look at the picture. The whole thing is on wet sand, and the tail end is clearly still in the water.

  22. sushi bar ,at bab’s house,
    sorry,,, that was just wrong,,,
    maybe someone shoulda found some eskimos,
    they could take it apart fast and waste nothing,
    in michigan, our dead stinky is white tail dear,
    go get a permit, its yours,,but,,most won’t ,,
    spend this much time for a few steaks,,,
    but,,,the wild dogs, crows and turkey vultures get to eat,

Comments are closed.