Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Goodbye Whale

The hitchhikers guide to the galley features a whale. It is seen floating in space all to briefly before it disappears. It’s a poor recollection but that iconic whale image floats in my mind when I think of whales. 

Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.

And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.

Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

That whale wasn’t supposed to be there. 

Jonah in the belly of another whale surviving in the belly until regurgitation. Another image. 

A whale. Huge big head and iconic shape. That’s a sperm whale

There’s been a lot of celebrity deaths this week. Many of which are sad.  

Today five of these creatures are lying dead on a beach. A beach in Europe. In the Netherlands. They won’t make the news. 

They ran aground and died in the night. They were too big to refloat easily. In spite of two being refloated they still perished. They were apparently badly injured. 

Five dead whales. 

According to National Geographic:

Sperm whales are often spotted in groups (called pods) of some 15 to 20 animals. Pods include females and their young, while males may roam solo or move from group to group. Females and calves remain in tropical or subtropical waters all year long, and apparently practice communal childcare. Males migrate to higher latitudes, alone or in groups, and head back towards the equator to breed. Driven by their tale fluke, approximately 16 feet (5 meters) from tip to tip, they can cruise the oceans at around 23 miles (37 kilometers) per hour.

National geographic. 

Can anyone explain why they were on a beach in Holland? It’s not tropical here. 

  
Their range shown in this image does reach Europe but it’s still very odd. 

And they are dead. They lie on a beach on the tiny island of Texel above the north Dutch coastline. (There’s another report of five more in Germany.) 

There’s a news article here. It contains graphic images as scientists, some from Scotland, try to understand how this happened. 

They are the largest toothed whale. Whales are in two categories, those with teeth and those without, known as Baleen whales. 

  
This is a terrible tragedy. Thirty five tonnes or more. The post Mortem may give an explanation of this tragedy. Or it may not. 

My guess is it may be the result of 

  • Sonic pollution in the water
  • Littering
  • Changes in water temperature
  • Human activity
  • Fishing gear
  • Starvation

Either way it’s a sad, sad day

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8 comments on “Goodbye Whale

  1. jgeerlings
    January 15, 2016

    If you would keep us post when the post Mortem report comes out I’d appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eddy Winko
    January 15, 2016

    The news yesterday about PCB concentrations in whales can hardly help, too sad to think about.

    Like

  3. ontheedgegardening
    January 15, 2016

    So sad 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A Life Answer
    May 17, 2016

    well written

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 14, 2016 by in conservation, World and tagged .

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