Brains are complex and delicate organs—and whale brains especially so. Few whales are in good condition when they beach. Fewer still are reached in time to extract the brain before it decomposes. It’s the first organ to go because the sensitive tissues are pressure-cooked deep inside the dying animal’s skull by body heat the whale cannot release. And rare are the people with the skills to extract and preserve them. Cetaceans were long thought to have simple, undeveloped brains, because whenever scientists would get inside a dead dolphin’s head, it had often already turned to sloppy mush. A good-quality whale brain is gold dust.