Sea turns blood red as entire village including young children round up and slaughter 180 whales

These images show dozens of villagers on a remote Atlantic island hunting down and slaughtering a pod of whales, colouring the water red with blood.

The practice, known as whale driving, saw children as young as five take part in the hunt of some 180 whales in the village of Sandavágur on Vágar island last month.

Every summer, hundreds of pilot and beaked whales are killed across the Faroe Islands, a Danish archipelago located hundreds of miles off the Scottish coast between Norway and Iceland.

Whale driving on the Faroe Islands date back to the late 16th century and involve residents herding pods of whales into shallow waters.

They are then killed using a ‘spinal lance’ that is inserted through the animal’s neck to break its spinal cord

While locals have been carrying out the annual hunts ahead of the sparse winter months for centuries, with the meat served salted or cut into steaks and the blubber sliced up and eaten raw, the practice often come off as shocking and gruesome to outsiders.

Cambridge University student Alastair Ward, 22, was visiting the archipelago last month to celebrate his graduation when he and a friend stumbled across the whale hunt.

He said: ‘We were walking round this bay when this family of locals ran over and said ‘you’re lucky, there’s a whale coming’.

‘We thought it would just be one being dragged in but more and more boats kept appearing on the horizon.

‘I couldn’t believe how many whales there were. They were driving them into the bay, prodding them with their oars.

‘Once they got close enough, the whole town sprinted in and started hacking at them. Even the children were getting involved, pulling on the ropes and jumping on the carcasses.

‘We were just sat there speechless and a bit upset but you couldn’t really pull yourself away.’  He added: ‘The squealing from the whales was horrible.

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