A sperm whale washed ashore over the weekend near Trepassey, and one curious onlooker got up close and personal with the carcass.

Ian Jones, a "curious naturalist," said the cause of death for the sperm whale isn't clear, but it seems to be an unusual case.

Some people may have spotted the whale swimming in the area recently.

"I did hear that possibly the whale may have been alive late last week and may have been swimming around, near or in Biscay Bay, and then it definitely died at some point and some point and then came ashore — washed ashore — dead on the weekend," Jones said.

Jones said the dead whale is just over 12 metres long, which isn't yet full grown. He said sperm whales normally have long lifespans, adding to the mystery.

And for the whale to wash ashore in such pristine condition is odd, as well. Normally, sperm whales stay out in deep water, so when they wash ashore dead they're pretty decomposed.