The dead body of an 11m-long whale has been discovered in an open-air swimming pool in Australia.
Early morning swimmers discovered the humpback whale, which had been washed into the ocean pool in Sydney by heavy seas.
The 30-tonne young adult mammal was washed up at Newport beach, ending up in the man-made swimming baths which are filled with sea water.
"It does have some external injuries but there's no way of knowing whether they were ante-mortem or post-mortem," said Wendy McFarlane from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA).
Ms McFarlane said one possible explanation for the otherwise seemingly healthy animal to die at sea could be that it had been struck by a ship.
It is thought the whale died several days ago.
The beach has now been closed due to the risk of sharks being attracted to the area by the rotting carcass.
The authorities are now deciding how best to remove the whale.
They may try to wash it back out to sea at high tide, or resort to the least preferred option of cutting it up and removing it in sections.
Sydney's Daily Telegraph said some locals were moved to tears. "It's so sad but it is a natural thing to happen in nature," Lua Silva told the newspaper.
National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman Geoff Ross said old and sick humpbacks could wash up in heavy seas.
"In big seas, the predators don't get the opportunity to deal with the carcass so it often washes in and we've seen that on several occasions over the last few years," he said.
A dead and badly-decomposed 10-metre sperm whale was washed up on the same beach in 2011, lodging itself on a rock platform.
Another carcass hit nearby Palm Beach later that year but was eventually washed out to sea.
Humpback whales are currently migrating north up Australia’s east coast from Antarctica.
It is coming towards the end of the migration season and the time of year when sicker whales are more likely to be seen.