Here is the exact reason.

Why did 81 whales die on the shores of Tamil Nadu this year Scientists have some answers
news Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 13:11

In the wee hours of January 12, the bodies of eighty-one dead whales washed up on the shores of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.

Scientists have now confirmed that a failure of echo-location or natural brain wave activity resulted in the death of the whales.

“Whales always move in groups and one whale called the pilot whale guides them. In this case, the pilot whale’s echolocation system failed and they lost their way.  The whales moved to the shallow waters and then towards the shore, resulting in their death,” said a scientist from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Thoothukudi.

Echolocation failure causes whales to become disoriented or sick forcing them to flee towards shallow waters where they end up beaching themselves.

“The usual migratory route of these whales is towards the east coast of Sri Lanka. Due to the echo-location failure, it could have come to the shallow water area,” he said.

The scientists claim that they did a detailed biological study on the death of the whales and no other reason was found for death. “We did a study on all the parameters and came to the conclusion that the whales died due to the echo-location failure. The cause behind the echo-location failure of the pilot whale is unknown,” he added.

Though there have been cases in the past where man-made sonars have been found to have interfered with echolocation, scientists in Tamil Nadu have not been able to pinpoint the reason in this instance.  

“This had also happened in 1973, and about 147 whales had died then at almost the same place in Thoothukudi. The reason for those deaths was also the same,” he said.

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has also published a report regarding the incident.

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