Today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena shares a rare and incredible sight: a pod of sperm whales fast asleep, floating in a vertical position, some with noses pointed up towards the water’s surface, some pointed down to the ocean floor. It’s a haunting sight, something the whales are believed to do for only brief periods of about 12 minutes at a time. Quick, vertical power naps.

Researchers have observed sleeping sperm whales exhibiting the same sort of Rapid Eye Movement that’s associated with dreaming in humans. So now we’re wondering what sorts of awesome things whales dream about.

Above gif and image taken from video footage used in the Discovery Channel series The Magic of the Big Blue (episode 4 of 7). Click here to watch.

[via Twisted Sifter and Sploid]


On July 29th, a whale was reported in distress at the entrance to Halifax harbour. Upon arrival, we found a minke whale bobbing vertically in the water with its tongue completely swollen. Based on the small size of the animal, it may have been still dependent on its mother, which was nowhere to be seen. Due to its young age and severe injury, the animal was unlikely to survive. After consulting with veterinarians, representatives from MARS, DFO and DNR responded the following day to determine the best course of action for this young whale, but found that it had died overnight. While retrieving the carcass we discovered it had been entangled in some old, lost fishing gear. The carcass was taken to the Agricultural College in Truro where a necropsy was conducted. We found that there were signs of a physical injury to the animals jaw. It’s possible, while anchored by the fishing gear, the animal was hit by a vessel causing its tongue to swell. The remains were left at the Agricultural College for a study on composting.


Just another example of our trashing the ocean damaging and killing its inhabitants. 



Furry Little Peach x Odd Collective Bedsheets Kickstarter

Hello my darlings, if you follow me on Instagram then you’ll already know about this, but let me introduce the rest of you to the Kickstarter I have going with The Club of Odd Volumes at the moment! Basically “The Herd” (ie. my Galaxy Whales) are going to be turned into sheet sets which I’m incredibly, incredibly excited about - but can only happen with the help of you guys!

These little babes available on linen sets (A fitted sheet, top sheet and two pillow cases) in Single, Double, Queen and King sizes. The bedding sets are 100% cotton, 300 thread count. Beautiful, bright, luxury photo quality prints and each pledge comes with a little limited edition gift to say thank you for supporting this project!

There is less than two weeks until we need to reach our goal in order for these fellas (along with the other four designs) to go into production, so I would really love and appreciate it if you guys could pledge and/or share this post! If we reach our goal by Sunday, Septemper 7, 2014, 12:00 AM EST we’ll be dreaming amongst these glorious gentle giants. If not, we won’t be charged, but unfortunately the sets won’t go into production.

If you’d like to pledge, you can find the sets on the right hand side - any of the pledges that read “THE HERD” are this design and please check out the other designs too they’re pretty rad! Thanks so much for reading, and let’s make this happen kiddos so we can all have matching sheets! ^.^ <3

Find the kickstarter here:


for a typical forty ton humpback to breach the ocean’s surface — and breach is taken to mean at least 40 percent of its body is out of the water — it needs to reach speeds of 29 km/h. on rare occasions, the whale will completely launch out of the water; rarer still is the photographer who manages to capture it. 

reasons for the behaviour are debated and varied, and range from mere pleasure, to courtship, to shedding the skin of parasites. calves (like in the sixth photo) can often be seen breaching for long periods of time, and it’s not uncommon for an adult to make multiple breaches; the most recorded is 130 jumps in 90 minutes. 

photos by (click pic) steven benjamin off the coast of port st. johns, south africa; flip nicklen in alaska and british columbia; tom soucek in fredrick sound, alaska; jon cornforth in alaska; jean waite off hawaii’s na pali coast; masa ushioda in hawaii; matthew thorton in tofino, bc; and christine callaghan in newfoundland’s bay of fundy (see also: previous breaching post)


pete g. allinson spends four days to a week trying to photograph the sperm whales off the coast of dominica. there are about 150 whales living in the area, and allinson uses a hydrophone to find their general location, and then waits patiently for the whales come to the surface to breathe and socialize.

allinson, giving the whales plenty of space and using a snorkel so as not disturb the animals with the bubbles of a scuba tanks, then gets into the water in the hopes that they will approach him.  

notes allison, “when they interact with us they approach us very closely, rolling over again and again, trying to get us to rub their abdomens and bodies. when you start getting close to them you feel nervous and intimidated, and then as they interact with you, you feel intense pleasure. you realise they are intelligent.”  

he adds, “they are truly beautiful creatures and i photograph them in the hopes of helping to save the whales. the more people who understand these wonderful animals the better”  

sperm whales have been hunted for the last three hundred years by those seeking the oily white spermeceti found in their heads, which has been used in everything from lamp oil to cosmetics to pharmaceutical compounds, and which gives the whales their name.

currently listed as a vulnerable species, sperm whale numbers have rebounded thanks to hunting bans, though this still puts them at a fraction of their pre whaling numbers.