Golden Retriever in 'Bone Heaven' Beside Massive 30-foot Whale Spine

A resurfaced image that showed a Golden Retriever walking beside a 30-foot whale spine has gone viral.

The image was originally posted to Twitter in 2021 by Polly Burns. On Friday, however, it was reposted in Reddit's "Interesting as F**k" forum by an anonymous poster. Friday's post has garnered more than 36,000 upvotes and over 600 comments from Redditors who joked that the retriever had found "dog heaven."

In her original tweet, Polly Burns explained that the photo was captured by her sister Hannah Burns on South Uist—one of the many islands that make up Scotland's Outer Hebrides, said Britannica.

According to an organization called the Hebridean Whale Trail, humans have populated the Outer Hebrides "since as far back as the Mesolithic." Throughout the centuries, the string of islands has become home to an abundant wildlife population—including a sheep that was once compared to a nightclub bouncer—as well as a Neolithic stone structure known as the Calanais Great Circle.

Additionally, both the Outer and Inner Hebrides have become popular amongst whale watchers.

"Whales and dolphins appear in old records of these islands," explained the Hebridean Whale Trail. "Tales of St. Columba from the sixth century describe his monks encountering 'a whale of extraordinary size, which rose like a mountain above the water, its jaws open to show an array of teeth' between Iona and Tiree."

The organization further explained that "whale bone artifacts" have been found along the Outer and Inner Hebrides, including the massive spine found by Hannah Burns last year on South Uist.

In the photo, Hannah Burns' dog sniffs the massive, 30-foot whale spine seen laying on the beach. Uist Sea Tours confirmed for The Scotsman, a Scottish news website, that the bone once belonged to an adult sperm whale.

"I've never really seen anything like that before," Hannah Burns told The Scotsman, adding that her dog was "really excited" to find the bone.

"I think at first she thought it was a big stick for her—she went near to it and realized it may have been a wee bit too big to pick up," Hannah Burns said.

Despite how stunningly intact the whale spine was, Redditors were more focused on Burns' dog and tried to imagine what might've been going through its mind during the time of the discovery.

"That dog can't believe its luck," joked u/No_Chair_7325.

"Doggo's just trying to find the right bite to carry this home," said u/badmma88.

"Dog: is this the true meaning of life? Or have I crossed the rainbow bridge? Arf!?" wrote u/DocWad23.

Another Redditor added: "Dog found bone heaven, and he looks pretty happy about it."

Sadly, in addition to bone artifacts, locals of the Outer Hebrides have also stumbled upon whale carcasses throughout the years. In 2018, around 43 Cuvier's beaked whale carcasses washed ashore across five islands within the Outer Hebrides. The cause of the deaths was unknown; however, some blamed Russian submarines.

Whale bones
A resurfaced image that shows a Golden Retriever walking beside a 30-foot whale spine has gone viral. The Hebridean Whale Trail said that "whale bone artifacts" have been found along the Outer and Inner Hebrides where the photo was taken. Fearless on Four Wheels/istock