A small deceased whale washed ashore Wednesday afternoon in Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay. The whale was reported to be a humpback species of about 30 feet. Crowds gathered to get a look and snap pictures of the impressive whale.

Scientists from the Marine Mammal Center are on the case and waiting to see whether the whale ends up on the beach or is taken further out to sea before they take further action. These scientists say that they could identify the whale because of its white coloring under its pectoral fin. A few objectives of the scientists are to figure out the whale’s age, sex, and cause of death.

A whale sighting is a picturesque moment, but it is not uncommon for these whales to be near the coast of Northern California. Biologists say that whales migrate from warmer southern waters to colder Alaskan waters in order to feed. What is uncommon is that these whales are not often seen from land.

Authorities will decide if they need to get rid of the whale carcass.