Sunday, October 22, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Porpoise unearthed in medieval graveyard

Posted on Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 | Comment icon 19 comments

Who buried this porpoise and for what reason ? Image Credit: YouTube / Guernsey Archaeology
A recent archaeological dig near Guernsey has yielded something rather unexpected - a porpoise skeleton.
When Oxford University's Philip de Jersey and his team discovered a burial site on the small island of Chapelle Dom Hue recently, they had expected to find the remains of a medieval monk.

Instead however, upon excavating the grave, they found the skeleton of a porpoise.

"It's very peculiar, I don't know what to make of it," said de Jersey. "Why go to the trouble of burying a porpoise in what looks like a grave ?"

The discovery is made all the more mysterious by the fact that the grave appears to have been dug out carefully and deliberately in a way that would be typically expected of a human burial.

Whoever was responsible had seemingly assigned great significance to this particular animal.

"If we were in a church and we found something like this, based on the shape, we would think it was a grave cut," said de Jersey. "That is what puzzles me."

"If they had eaten it or killed it for the blubber, why take the trouble to bury it ?"

Source: Science Alert | Comments (19)

Tags: Medieval, Porpoise

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Shouldthisexist on 21 September, 2017, 2:17
Dolphins, the once true rulers! I knew my theories would prove themselves...time to move on to proving the flatness of the earth!   also for reference to the might be  a dog skull I looked for the closest resemblance a 5 min search could find.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Black Monk on 21 September, 2017, 10:00
No. It's definitely a porpoise.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Black Monk on 21 September, 2017, 10:01
It's a porpoise,
Comment icon #13 Posted by Black Monk on 21 September, 2017, 10:52
The celebrated Northumbrian saint, Cuthbert, cast ashore on a Scottish bay, was said to have found three porpoises or dolphins lying dead on the beach, as if miraculously presented there for his sustenance. To the faithful, whales and dolphins were bounties from above. With the Norman invasion, they became the preserve of the aristocracy and the holy orders because, classified as fish, they could be eaten on fast days of Wednesday and Friday. The name porpoise is itself a contraction of the Norman French, porc poisson. In 1324, this right was enshrined in medieval legislation regarding “Fishes... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Yoyo1 on 21 September, 2017, 17:32
Perhaps it liked humans. Opo and Pelorus Jack were two dolphins in New Zealand which liked to spend time with humans in the early 1900s and in the 1950s. They became legends.
Comment icon #15 Posted by skliss on 21 September, 2017, 19:24
I know but they are very similar....I assumed they would have similar characteristics.
Comment icon #16 Posted by The Russian Hare on 21 September, 2017, 23:58
Very strange. There's an old superstition that dolphins carry the souls of drowned sailors. Maybe that has something to do with it.
Comment icon #17 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 23 September, 2017, 1:05
Is there any porpoise analog to a selkie?
Comment icon #18 Posted by Parsec on 23 September, 2017, 21:56
I am not sure threy differentiated much in the middle ages between dolphins and porpoises, so I reckon we could ascribe selkies to porpoises as well.    Wow, actually your link (and wiki's page about porpoises) took me to a quite unexpected journey of old traditions and legends.  Between female rape, slavery and forced marriages (selkies in a nutshell) and drive hunting, I see how things have changed on some topics. And how traditions are important, but some of them are better left to history books.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Piney on 26 September, 2017, 12:55
That's what I was thinking.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Huge magnetic tail discovered behind Mars
NASA scientists have revealed the existence of an invisible magnetic tail trailing behind the Red Planet.
NASA's ion thruster breaks propulsion records
The prototype thruster could one day propel the first Mars astronauts all the way to the Red Planet.
Fear of snakes 'is of evolutionary origin'
A new study in Germany has suggested that we are born with an innate fear of snakes and spiders.
9.7 million-year-old hominin teeth discovered
The surprising find has the potential to completely rewrite everything we know of early human history.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
One hundred million crabs
Posted 10-21-2017 | 2 comments
Christmas Island red crabs migrate in extreme numbers in this vintage BBC clip.
Recreating your face from DNA
Posted 10-18-2017 | 0 comments
Is it possible to determine someone's appearance from a sample of their DNA ?
Schlieren imaging in color
Posted 10-16-2017 | 2 comments
A look at Schlieren imaging - a technique that can help to visualize tiny differences in air.
Glowing creatures of the deep
Posted 10-15-2017 | 0 comments
This vintage clip sees Sir David Attenborough descending in to the dark depths of the sea.
Slow motion pellet split
Posted 10-14-2017 | 0 comments
The Slo Mo Guys attempt to split an air gun pellet with a knife to pop two balloons.
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Sleep paralysis or real encounter?
10-18-2017 | United Kingdom
Ghost playing with a balloon?
10-18-2017 | Australia
Impossible phone call
10-18-2017 | West Virginia
Seeing cats
10-18-2017 | Santa Rosa
Fourth of July UFO show
10-18-2017 | Hillsboro ND
Guardian angel ?
9-13-2017 | Middle of nowhere Iowa
I'm not normal, but I'm not alone
9-13-2017 | South Africa
When I was very little
9-13-2017 | Sturgis So.Dakota
Weird light orbs and chills
9-13-2017 | Poland
Unexplained light flashes
8-30-2017 | Louisiana

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ