These stunning photos show thousands of dead MACKEREL that washed up on shore – that could have been fleeing a WHALE.
Beachgoers were left baffled after the fish were left sprawled on the sands in unprecedented numbers over the weekend.
Walkers visiting the stretch of coast on Sunday morning were greeted by the bizarre sight after they appeared on Pentewan beach in Cornwall on Saturday night.
Experts say the reason for the stranding will remain a mystery and there were several working theories.
But one possible cause was the mackerel fleeing the sea from large predators.
Simon Cadman, the principle enforcement officer for Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, said there was record of both dolphins and whales monitoring the shoal in recent days.
He said: “It is impossible to attribute the case of it to any known factors with any degree of certainty.
“But one of the theories is there were a lot of predators chasing these shoals.
“We had reports of dolphins and whales having a good look at them.
“There is a chance they could have spooked the fish and it is possible this might have caused them to flee in a particular direction.
“We had heard of whales targeting these shoals so that is entirely possible.
“There never will be a definitive answer though. Unless we have witnesses we are never going to know what happened.”
But he said he had never come across anything like it before.
He added: “There are various factors. There had been weather problems and we also know there were fishing in the area.
“It is very rare. I can not recall an incident like this one before. On occasions we have got smaller number of fish but nothing like this I can remember.
“It is going to be impossible to sure what happened. Whether it was fishing, weather, predators or a combination of them all, we will never know.
“It is an odd event and will remain a mystery.”