A strange theory

We seem to have more reports of whale beachings and strandings than we used to. This could be because the modern world is distracting them, undersea noise perhaps.

It could also be because there are more whales around. We stopped hunting in any volume what, 50 years ago? We might this be returning to the “natural” level of strandings.

Anyone know which is the correct answer here?

21 comments on “A strange theory

  1. I’d bet it’s that we report more and our reports go further.

    Trying to search Google 30 years ago for “whale standings” would have been a waste of time.

    We simply have no idea how many standings there were in isolated places in the past.

  2. Think Chester Draws has it.
    Camera phones
    Internet
    Social media
    More reports about all sorts of things.
    20 years ago a stranded whale would be a pile of stinking meat on an isolated beach. Known to the people used the beach. Now it can be a star on YouTube.

  3. Less sightings of UFO’s, Bigfoot and the like though.The list of technology BIS gives probable covers that too.

  4. You don’t understand, these events are not a tragedy, they are anc opportunity to blame humanity or all the trouble in the world. Global warming, offshore wind, submarine sonar, whatever. It’s all man’s fault. When I say man, I mean white males of a straight persuasion.

  5. I wonder whether the ambergris market could tell us something about the supply of washed up whales post ban.

  6. Prince Philip is to blame.

    He sits on his iron throne inthe big round tower of Windsor Castle and sends his telepathic messages out to his servants: Trump, Putin, King Jong Un et al.

    The whales being super sensitive pick up his commands and misinterpret them for “Hey guys, here’s some ace krill.”

  7. submarine sonar

    Nope. Submarines only use active sonar in extremis (or in shallows – which counts as extremis for most modern submarines.)

    The thing that gets the blame is submarine hunting sonar from surface ships. Particularly LFA / ALOTFS – low frequency active sonar.

  8. it’s the ambergris itself that gets washed up, most of the time sans whale
    True, but perhaps ambergris finds are a proxy for sperm whale numbers.

  9. Whales are in first place, Chester.

    “Trying to search Google 30 years ago for “whale standings” would have been a waste of time.”

    True, but Amazon would try to sell you some. Yahoo! gives 7,750,000 results. That’s how corrupt internet search engines are.

  10. Be wary of whales – they’re very cunning and they’re communists. The nomenklatura whales have been making the peasant ones eat plastic and beach themselves in ever larger numbers. The nomenklatura whales then get a bit of an easier time of it from humans. The ones on the beaches are useful idiots whose welfare is irrelevant.

    Or maybe that’s bollocks and there are indeed just more whales,

  11. Greenpeace used to try to claim vibrations from the bullzdozers on the Sakhalin II pipeline were causing the Pacific grey whale numbers to decline. Fortunately when Gazprom took it over they were threatened with jail if they spouted such bollocks again.

  12. One of my marine biologist pals has a theory. It’s in two parts and part one is that if talking shit were made a capital offence, it would solve the population explosion overnight. The second part of his theory is that cetaceans are just bright enough to be a menace to themselves and that when fooling around in the ocean depths they miscalculate and get the bends, or their compressible organs don’t properly, or whatever. They then strand because they feel that they are drowning. I mention that when humans dive to say twenty metres, the no-stop bottom time is about an hour. It would be easy for familiarity to breed contempt and for a whale to lose track of time and overdo it, especially if this is not the first deep dive of the day. Anyway nobody has arrested my marine biologist friend yet and put him on trial for a capital offence, so there may be some truth in what he says.

  13. Further to BiS and camera phones:

    Planes & Drone near misses – lot of stories, zero footage from crew or passengers. Isn’t that odd?

  14. @Southerner,

    “Deep dives”, especially among the other junior zero-real-world-experience management consultant bullwaffle are reason enough to commit ritual suicide, no?

  15. Pcar,

    You’d have to be impossibly quick on the draw, or pointing your camera out the window at exactly the right time and in exactly the right place, and ideally shooting rather more than 25 FPS. And, yes, I have once watched a drone hurtle past (or rather, us hurtle past the drone) the port side window of the commercial airliner I was on.

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