3 Stranded Whales, Stranded Whale

Three Beached Whales, a 1577 engraving. Done by Dutch artist Jan Wierix, depicting stranded Sperm Whales. These seem so sad. It makes me want to research what inspired this, and what could cause this to happen.

Stranded whale at Katwijk in Holland in 1598, Katwijk 1598