230 pilot whales beached in Tasmania — exactly 2 years after the area’s last mass stranding

In an unusual case of déjà vu, a pod of some 230 pilot whales stranded on Tasmania’s western coast on Wednesday (Sept. 21), exactly two years to the day after a different pod of pilot whales stranded on and near the same beach.

The eerie timing of the stranding could well be a coincidence, Rob Deaville, project manager of the Zoological Society of London’s Cetacean Strandings Investigation Program (CSIP), told Live Science. A number of factors can drive cetaceans — marine mammals such as whales and dolphins — to strand, and at this point, it’s unclear which factors played into this particular incident, he said.

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