Rotting Whale Harpoons Gawkers in Small Oregon Town

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The stench of a rotting gray whale carcass hasn't kept the 40-foot beast from becoming the star attraction on an Oregon beach after washing ashore Tuesday.

“It reaks,” Greg Dyer, a Seaside, Ore., resident, told NBC News’ partner — although he said it was pretty exciting to get so close to one of biggest creatures in the ocean.

"Imagine you left a fish in the fridge for too long and you were like, ‘Woah’” another Joel Licari, said of the carcass. “That's what it smells like out there."

A marine biologist will take samples to try to determine how the whale died before city officials work out how to remove the creature from one of the city’s busiest beaches, the station reported. It will likely be buried.

"It doesn't look skinny, it's been dead a long time," said Keith Chandler with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network told "So it will be tough to tell what killed it."

— Henry Austin