The Mystic World of Whales

BuzzOnEarth is an online publication on environmental sustainability and human wellness, focused on creating positive impact. BoE aims to bridge the knowledge gap and act as a catalyst in accelerating sustainable development.

We have literally grown up learning that Whales are the biggest mammals on this planet and that there are so many cartoon shows where Whales are the friendly ones.

Well, yes, most of the whales survive on plankton after all! There are jokes too about how Whales and Elephants showcase that eating grass (dieting) doesn’t make you slim.

All in all, whales have been these positive supreme logs (will not say bundles owing to their sheer size) of happiness and friendliness.

While, most of the times the friendly, communicating with humans bit is associated with dolphins, Whales have been known to be surprisingly friendly too! Not just that, they have been known to partner with humans on hunting expeditions (in the water of course) and turned down work like a jilted employee upon not having been paid well!

So, while there is a lot of knowledge and talk of upskilling, learning something new, reading well etc are going around, we thought that we will talk about some fun-filled Whale facts for you!

Whales do not breath Involuntarily! 

Yes! They do not. They have to make a conscious effort towards breathing and it is because of this reason that they keep coming to the surface every now and then (intervals of 15-30 minutes) to blow off the steam! This voluntary breathing is the reason why whales do not sleep too! And even if they do, half of their brain is conditioned to focus on breathing.

Whale Breathing

Whales catch Vibes!

Just like humans, sometimes even better than us! For instance, whales can and have been known to detect pregnancy even before the mother could figure out! This is one of the reasons why so many tourists on their whale sightseeing routine get to see the whales performing while hunters find hard to locate one. One can call it a sixth sense or something but whales are pretty good at figuring out the intent.

Whales and Vibing

They are extremely Social creatures

Many species of Whales, esp the killer whale species are known to travel in pods. The term pods, it is said comes from the “peas of the same pod” phrase. That is how close they stay. Also, the whales do not give up on their tribe easily. If one of their kind is injured, they will carry the injured whale to as far as they can. The carrying part is of special essence given the fact that whales need air to breathe. They cannot breathe underwater. Hence, if there is an unconscious whale which needs to breathe, it will have to be carried to the surface!

Whales live and move about in groups

Whales can See and Hear acutely

Hence, if you felt that you made eye contact with a whale species ever, in all probability you are correct! Whales can see and they can differentiate too! Not sure how smart they are at it given it isn’t as easy to domesticate a whale yet just like dolphins, whales can be trained. This ability to see and also catching the vibe helps the whales to know if there is any danger on the surface.

Echolocation: How whales communicate

They are the typical good employee

Jokes apart, whales have been known to work in cohorts with humans to help them go hunting in return for a treat. The Australians of Eden are known to have worked with the orcas for almost a hundred years. The indigenous people of the area, the Koori, are believed to have worked in harmony with the whales for ten thousand years. And anyone who has ever seen a killer whale in captivity knows they can be trained to do practically anything in the water. But all this will be done till the humans are giving something in return. The moment the humans, as is their characteristic start acting smart, the whales retreat!

Whales are Social

Lastly, do they attack Humans?

The probability of a whale attacking a human is as high as a human with a knife in their back (literally) attacking their attacker. Whales are really docile creatures. They tend to avoid any probable situation where there could be any kind of violence. It is for this reason that whales, despite being enormous enough to capsize any decent-sized whale hunting ship, do not show up in the vicinity. They believe in saving themselves but not at the cost of another life. 

So, well, here we are at the end of this series! Hope you had fun knowing some of the behavioural characteristics of a typical whale. 

Shall be back with another such fun blog soon!!