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'Looks so realistic': Meet the artist who creates life-sized whales made of snow

He spent seven hours perfecting the whale to make it look as lifelike as possible.

Aaron Cambrin spent seven hours sculpting a beautiful piece of art with his bare hands at Vancouver's Jericho Beach earlier this month

But it only lasted for a few days before it disappeared. 

For as long as he can remember, he’s always been fascinated by orcas. 

“I just liked whales ever since I was a kid,” he says. “I just thought it was a good idea at the time."

He started by rolling snow into more than a dozen balls; next, he used his arms and hands to shovel up the snow. 

Getting the correct dimensions of the anatomy took seven hours. He returned the day after for an hour to make sure all the sand and colours were lifelike.

“A few people came up to me asking what I was making,” he explains. 

Cambrin didn’t have a plan when he started and says he winged it. 

“No skating or plan for this one,” 

People on the beach and on social media were taken aback by the artwork, with many thinking it was a real whale due to how well Cambrin made it. 

“It looks so realistic,” says Helen on X. 

Another person wrote that the whale looks like a member of J-Pod. 

A video of the mammal sculpture posted online has been viewed more than 386,000 times and was shared more than 870 times. 

“I thought it was photoshopped in a previous post. Thanks for the close-up. Very creative,” wrote a person named Debbie on X. 

This wasn’t the first beach whale Cambrin has created. He's made five other whales over the years. 

“I say this was my best,” he says. “I got to do the full anatomy on the one half of it.”

Before the melt started, he used snow to write ‘R.I.P Moby Doll,’ as a memorial to the J-Pod southern resident orca that was brought to Vancouver. 

“I was hoping we’d get to see some orcas pass by,” says Cambrin. 

He’s enjoyed seeing the response from the public about his artwork and says if there’s more snow he’d consider creating another one.