A weapon fragment lodged in whale's shoulder dates back to 1800s

A Bowhead whale hunted off the coast of Alaska in May was found to be carrying the head of a harpoon embedded in its neck dating back to the 1800s.

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Researchers were able to pinpoint the age of the bomb lance fragment, lodged in a bone between the whale’s neck and shoulder blade, as being fired in the 1890s.

Scientists are able to determine the age by analysing amino acids in the eye lenses and some whales have been found that are close to 200 years old.

The metal object was identified by curators at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts, on the east coast of the USA, near where the weapon was probably manufactured, and will eventually go on display at the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska.