In most place, when a dead whale is found on a beach, it’s either dragged back into the water or, in keeping with mankind’s fascination with explosions, blown up. Not in Veitnam. No, in Vietnam, dead whales are buried, ceremony and all. And in this case, they don’t need to be found on land.

Sixty miles off the coast of south-central Vietnam, a seven ton whale was discovered by a fishing crew. Instead of just leaving it there, it was towed to shore and a burial ceremony was organised.

According to Nguyen Tien Thanh, a government official in Ninh Thuan province’s Dong Hai district, where the whale came from remains a mystery. Whales aren’t native to Vietnamese waters, but despite this, it is believed that burying the whale cadavers will bring fisherman good luck. It’s tradition.

The ceremony lasted for a day, and featured about three hundred attendees, one hundred of which were fisherman, to pay their respects to a dead animal. So what’s going to happen to the remains after they bury it? Will it just decompose? Well, kind of.

After three years, the whale will be exhumed, and whatever is left will be re-interred at…a local whale cemetery?

In every place that’s not Vietnam, I imagine it’s called “the ocean.”

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