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How the hell did a sperm whale end up beached on the shores of Lac de Serre-Ponçon in the French Alps, 700 meters or so above sea level? Locals were wondering that same thing. But then the truth came out: the beached whale was an art installation set up by a group of Belgian Artists known collectively as Captain Boomer (yes, it was a sculpture). The whale was placed there for World Oceans Day and was spotted from above by paraglider Jean-Baptiste Chandeleir (video).

The Captain Boomer collective looks at the beaching of a whale as a significant historical event (it still is a pretty big deal, no matter where it happens). “The beaching of a whale has always been a magical event,” reads the Captain Boomer site. “Villages trembled and were exhilarated when it happened. This is what we reconstruct. At the same time, the beached whale is a gigantic metaphor for the disruption of our ecological system. People feel their bond with nature is disturbed. The game between fiction and reality reinforces this feeling of disturbance.”

The oceans aren’t as healthy as they could be. These artists want people everywhere to know, and feel, that.

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This post’s headline was updated to reflect the fact that this was near Lac de Serre-Ponçon, in the French Alps, as stated in the body of the original piece.


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