a whale of a time

Posts Tagged ‘a whale of a time’

Thankful? Nuzzle.

Once a year Americans gather around a seasonal feast to pause, reflect and give thanks. Appreciation for good fortune is expressed through sharing homes, food, or even by articulating personal successes or it could be worses to friends and family. But whales? Well, they cuddle.

We know you already have a lot to be thankful for this year, but here’s another, Free Willy-esque reason: An appreciative whale reminding us that nature offers something Good around every corner.

California — December, 2005: A 50-ton humpback whale was found caught in nylon ropes in Farallon Islands, 18 miles outside of San Francisco. A braaaave team decided to execute a daring rescue operation: The only way to save the tangled whale was to dive into the water and cut the ropes, a delicate mission because one swoop of the whale’s fin was enough to knock out and even kill a dude. But this whale was a boss, and acted calm and patient.

James Moskito, one of the rescue divers explained, “When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me. It was an epic moment of my life.”

According to Moskito and his fellow rescuers, when the whale realized it was free it began swimming around in circles. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him, and then nuzzled the next. Because thankful whales cuddle.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Nuzzle some fools.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Feces, Migration, Death = Life

Whale poop: I won’t provide a link in case you ingest your daily Good with your breakfast cereal.

Whale poop is turning out to be more than your typical sea-faring fecal matter. Your average free willy feeds at the bottom and breathes up top, conducting his or her business anywhere in between. A pair of university-types recently discovered that their liquidy, plume-like poop invariably floats to the top of the ocean and pretty much serves as marine Miracle Gro.

Courtesy of University of Vermont

While most marine mammals drop the solid varietal, whales buck the trend and send their juice directly to the top, fertilizing phytoplankton and other key players. Harvard University’s James McCarthy (no relation) thinks “[whales] form a really important direct influence on the production of plants at the base of this food web.” The process, now being called the “whale pump,” is critical in our increasingly nutrient-lacking and polluted waters, making the Captain Ahabs of the world look like real creeps. After all, their poop never saves anything.