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A Reminder that Moby-Dick Was Inspired by a Real Whale Attack

Started by Brother Mythos, June 27, 2023, 10:33:13 AM

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Brother Mythos

"Killer whales wreck boat in latest attack off Spain"

As per the article:

"Killer whales severely damaged a sailing boat off the coast of southern Spain, the local maritime rescue service said on Thursday, adding to dozens of orca attacks on vessels recorded so far this year on Spanish and Portuguese coasts.

In the early hours of Thursday, a group of orcas broke the rudder and pierced the hull after ramming into the Mustique on its way to Gibraltar, prompting its crew of four to contact Spanish authorities for help, a spokesman for the maritime rescue service said."


"According to the research group GTOA, which tracks populations of the Iberian orca sub-species, the incident follows at least 20 interactions this month alone in the Strait of Gibraltar between small vessels and the highly social apex predators. In 2022, there were 207 reported interactions, GTOA data showed."

As most of you know, the sinking of the American whaling ship Essex in the South Pacific was one of the inspirations for Herman Melville's Moby-Dick

This time it's orcas, rather than an angry sperm whale, that are attacking small boats in the Strait of Gibraltar. So, it shouldn't be long before Orca: The Killer Whale, the 1977 movie starring Richard Harris, shows up once again on TV.

Here's the link:
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I've upped my game. So, up yours.


Hell yeah, more power to the Orcas.
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Brother Mythos

"Orcas disrupt boat race near Spain in latest display of dangerous, puzzling behavior"

As per the article:

"A pod of killer whales bumped one of the boats in an endurance sailing race as it approached the Strait of Gibraltar, the latest encounter in what researchers say is a growing trend of sometimes-aggressive interactions with Iberian orcas.

The 15-minute run-in with at least three of the giant mammals forced the crew competing in The Ocean Race on Thursday to drop its sails and raise a clatter in an attempt to scare the approaching orcas off. No one was injured, but Team JAJO skipper Jelmer van Beek said in a video posted on The Ocean Race website that it was "a scary moment.""

Further in the article:

"Scientists have noted increasing reports of orcas, which average from 16-21 feet (5-6½ meters) and weigh more than 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms), bumping or damaging boats off the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the past four years.

The behavior defies easy explanation. A team of marine life researchers who study killer whales off Spain and Portugal has identified 15 individual orcas involved in the encounters — 13 of them young, supporting the hypothesis that they are playing. The fact that two are adults could support the competing and more sensational theory that they are responding to some traumatic event with a boat."

A second, hyperlinked article titled, "Killer whales damage boats in Spanish, Portuguese waters in puzzling new behavior," reports:

"BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A pod of killer whales repeatedly rammed a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar this week, damaging it enough to require Spanish rescuers to come to the aid of its four crew members.

It was the latest episode in a perplexing trend in the behavior of orcas populating the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula that has left researchers searching for a cause."

Further in the hyperlinked article:

"Biologist Alfredo López, of the University of Aveiro and member of the research group, said that the incidents are rare — and enticingly odd.

"In none of the cases that we have been able to see on video have we witnessed any behavior that could be considered aggressive," López told The Associated Press by phone on Friday. "They appear calm, nothing at all like when they are on the hunt.""

I know nothing about orca behavior. But, compared to the high number of relatively fast, massive ships with noisy propellers continuously passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, a slow, quiet sailboat might appear to be a safe novelty to them. If so, their behavior might be driven by playful curiosity.

Here's the link to the primary article:

And, here's the link to the hyperlinked article:
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

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Brother Mythos

"A pod of orcas has sunk a yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar"

As per the article:

"For 45 minutes, the crew of the Grazie Mamma felt like they were under attack from below. A pod of orcas had zeroed in on the yacht's rudder as it made its way through the Strait of Gibraltar last week, and rammed it repeatedly, "causing major damage and leakage," according to the company that operated the boat.

Rescuers were able to save the crew and return them safely to port in Tanger-Med on the coast of Morocco. Their vessel, though, sank into the sea."

And, further in the article:

"Since 2020, there have been about 500 encounters between orcas and boats, Alfredo López Fernandez, a coauthor of a 2022 study in the journal Marine Mammal Science, told NPR earlier this year. At least three boats have sunk, though there is no record of an orca killing a human in the wild."

So, the orcas behavior continues.

Here's the link:
Discordianism is fundamentally mischievous irreverence.

I've upped my game. So, up yours.