Initial reports suggest the mammal could have died from an illness or possibly following a collision with a ship, although it displayed no obvious signs of physical injury
© CEN
Initial reports suggest the mammal could have died from an illness or possibly following a collision with a ship, although it displayed no obvious signs of physical injury
A blue whale carcass has been stomped on by people taking selfies and covered in graffiti after it washed up on a beach in Chile.

The huge 66ft whale created a stir among locals after it was discovered on the shoreline of Punta Arenas in the Magallanes Region of the country.

But pictures soon emerged online showing people clambering on the dead mammal's body and trampling on its back.

Footprints could be seen on its carcass and one online picture showed how someone had scrawled 'Ana, I love you' on its flank.

A blue whale carcass has been stomped on by people taking selfies and covered in graffiti saying 'Ana I love you' after it washed up on a beach in Chile
© CEN
A blue whale carcass has been stomped on by people taking selfies and covered in graffiti saying 'Ana I love you' after it washed up on a beach in Chile
Furious social media users have hit out at the 'vandals'.

One, called Carmen Julia Gonzalez Escanilla, said: 'We are losing respect and empathy for everything today.'

Xieman Hernandez added: 'So stupid, every day we get worse. How would the people who did this like to have their dead bodies written on? They do not respect anything!'

The carcass proved a draw for locals in the area with people descending on the beach to take pictures

The carcass proved a draw for locals in the area with people descending on the beach to take pictures
The whale has now been taken away by Chilean authorities to establish its cause of death.

Initial reports suggest that it could have died from an illness or possibly following a collision with a ship, although it displayed no obvious signs of physical injury.

Marine specialists will report on their investigation into the blue whale's death later this week.

The blue whale is the largest animal known to have ever existed, however they are difficult to weigh because of their enormity.

The heaviest blue whale recorded weighed 190 metric tonnes and was a southern hemisphere female.