the whale hunt


Greener-type Peterhead No.5 whaling gun

Manufactured in Peterhead c.late 19th century.
Percussion muzzle-loader firing a steel harpoon, swivel mount, pistol grip, hinged and latched brass cover protecting the large hammer with two percussion nipples to reliably set off the large gunpowder charge, brass beluga decorative plate.

These monstrous boat-mounted guns would fire special harpoon that allows a line to be anchored to it, with its fittings sliding down the harpoon’s shaft as it exits the barrel before being carried away into some unfortunate sea mammal.


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. 


Leo: Iceland is considering defying the ban on whale hunting, imposed by the International Whaling Commission. They’re in danger of joining Norway and Japan. There’s a lucrative international demand for fresh Icelandic mink whale meat.
Jed: Is this a joke?
Leo: No, sir. Needless to say, both the State Department and the Fishery Subdivision of the Department of Agriculture feel that we shouldn’t do anything to offend Iceland right now.

anonymous asked:

Does the word "shellfish" annoy you since shellfish aren't fish? Does it bother you when people call orcas "killer whales" when they're dolphins? Because it bothers me even though I only have a high school level understanding of Biology I wanted to know if it was just me...

Hmm I think I used to, but now not so much, and I’ll tell you why.

Common or colloquial names vary so much within and between localities and languages that we shouldn’t expect the same kind of stringency we hold to real scientific names and groupings. The point of a name is to convey information, and in certain contexts an informal and not necessarily biologically accurate common name is suitable to convey relevant information to a wide group of people within a certain locality. Bird common names are particularly bad, for example an american blackbird is not closely related to the eurasian blackbird at all, and in addition there are about 26 (not necessarily related) species called blackbirds found in the Americas. However, if you are sitting in your garden in the UK and you hear a blackbird, you don’t need to differentiate between that and the 26 American birds to know that what you are hearing is Turdus merula. Common names are perfectly acceptable in the right context. 

Now, shellfish is a handy and historically well established culinary term for basically any edible marine invertebrate. I don’t think it would be necessary to have to start saying bivalve chowder, linguine with marine invertebrates, or decapod tempura just for the sake of scientific accuracy. The term is specific to English too - in latin based languages such as French, Spanish, and Italian etc., the same group of animals are referred to under the umbrella term of “Fruits of the Sea”. We know they are not fruits, and I’m sure (or I at least hope) that most people know that “shellfish” are not actually fish, however, as the title of my favourite podcast goes, there’s No Such Thing As A Fish - this is because the group of animals that we would call fish, is a paraphyletic group - which in terms of biological semantics, doesn’t exist.

 Basically, a paraphyletic group is a group of organisms including the latest common ancestor, but not including all descendants. Below in yellow are the groups that we would typically refer to as “fish”, however this excludes amphibians, and other land vertebrates etc., which are nested in the fish family tree. In fact, humans are more closely related to ray finned fish (such as salmon etc.) than ray finned fish are to sharks, yet the term fish removes this information. 

The proper, monophyletic groupings (ancestor and all descendants), which retains such information are displayed below for contrast, but you don’t need to say that you are going Osteichthyes-ing when you are going on a fishing trip. 

We basically use the word fish to refer to non air-breathing marine vertebrates with that share general habitats and ecologies, which is a useful word to have. For example don’t need to have a different, scientifically accurate term for overfishing for each fishy group, that would weaken the meaning of terminology for the action of overfishing, and make conservation policy and public outreach more difficult. Overfishing as a word is easy to understand, and in this context, it gets the job done, whether you are a biologist, a policy maker, a fisherman, or an average joe. 

SO scientifically, even the word fish to begin with is problematic! But such semantics aren’t necessary for everyday life, and thus the word fish still has value. It’s widespread usage is simply historical leftover from when the word fish basically meant anything living in the sea (shellfish, starfish, jellyfish) -  even the word dolphin comes from the latin for fish with a womb, which leads me onto your next example…

And guess what, there’s no such thing as a dolphin - yes, it is yet again another paraphyletic group. The common term dolphin excludes porpoises and other small toothed whales which are nested within classical dolphin groups, i.e. the superfamily, Delphinoidea. 

But, like fish, dolphin is still a handy term to refer to a specific type of cetacean, so it’s not going to stop being used. 

The important thing to remember is that all dolphins are whales. There are two major sub orders within Cetacea, the Mysticeti, or baleen whales such as humpback, blue, grey, minke etc. - i.e what we would typically think of as whales. However, there are also the Odontoceti, the toothed whales, which includes sperm whales, beaked whales, river dolphins, oceanic dolphins, porpoises, beluga whales, and narwhals. If the term whale is understood not to include dolphins then it becomes a paraphyletic group. Even though an Orca is part of the oceanic Dolphin family Delphinidae (which also includes bottle nosed dolphins, common dolphins etc.), it is still technically a whale. ADDITIONALLY the name killer whale may be due to a mistranslation of their 18th century Spanish name, asesina-ballenas which literally translates as whale killer as indeed, Orcas will hunt baleen whales. 

Anyway the point is, at the end of the day, if the right information is conveyed by a common or informal name within the context of day to day life, scientific semantics are unnecessary. Lol, following that logic to the extreme would mean that the name seahorse is wrong. Of course it would be cool if people knew more about cetacean taxonomy, or took an interest in marine invertebrates, but I don’t think that enforcing correct nomenclature is central to doing that. Most of the time these terms are simply just the name for a thing, disassociated from any greater meaning - I would still use the words shellfish in a restaurant, or the word starfish or jellyfish etc. and I am currently studying marine invertebrates!

And hey, then next time those terms come up in conversation you could always use that opportunity to crack open a few fun facts about how orcas are part of the dolphin family, and that all dolphins are whales, or that the prawn and clam on your plate are not related to each other, or to that can of tuna in your cupboard.

Masterlist of Girl Groups Proving Their Vocals

So we all know that there are a lot of girl groups are currently existing this year. I’m getting worried since some talented girl groups are getting less attention as the number of rookies increase and worse, they get disbanded. Just pls chill and watch these videos because these girls deserve more attention. Forget about the looks, just focus on the vocals. Don’t forget to spread this for others to listen, too. (Majority of these videos are covers and live)








EVOL (but mostly Say):




I know I miss a lot of girl groups, please add them! So I’m leaving it here and hope you’ll start supporting them :-)





Please add more! I only know few girl groups :(

the concept of an animal or group of animals, living through mass hunting and almost extinction, and living so long that even 200+ years later they could still feasibly remember something as large scale and systematic as early 20th century whaling is just, astonishing.

its not even passing down through a kind of culture, it’s the same individual whales that were hunted during the 1800s, and they’re still alive and survived and are, as a result, extremely wary and flighty around boats/people.

that’s very cool, as well as sad. It’s surreal.

Whale sounds brought to the deaf

Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy whale-watching excursions around the world every year, pursuing humpbacks for their mysterious, multi-octave songs. And now the fun is opening up to deaf people, who are feeling the sounds for the first time.

One voyage this week took a a large group of deaf students out to see humpbacks frolicking in the waters of the Caribbean. While they didn’t hear the grunting and the squealing, they wore high-tech backpacks that tuned whale songs into vibrations.

The children gasped as they felt the sounds for the first time.

“When I first felt the vibration, I felt it in my heart,” said Nicole Duran, 15, a student at the St Rose Institute for Deaf Assistance in Santo Domingo. “It reminded me of a heartbeat,” she said through a sign language interpreter.

Nicole was among 47 students on the field trip from Santo Domingo, the capital on the south coast, to Samana province on the north coast, a three-hour bus ride.

In grades seven to 12, the children used their hands to express the thumps, pings and gentle massage they felt on their skin. Stretching their arms high and low to follow the varying tones they sensed, the students opened and closed their hands rapidly to express strong impacts.

“I feel the pulses - it’s like boom, boom, boom!” Melissa Castillos, 18, said aboard a 48-foot, power catamaran in the Bay of Samana. “I’ve seen photos and videos of whales, but this is the real thing.”

The migration of several thousand humpbacks from the northern Gulf of Maine to the Dominican coast brings some 50,000 tourists to the area from January to March every year, according to the Tourism Ministry. For three consecutive years, the visitors have included children and teachers from several Dominican schools.

Introducing deaf and hearing-impaired students to the whales and their music was the vision of Dominican artist and musician Maria Batlle, 34, who in 2013 founded the Muse Seek Project. Her nonprofit’s goals include using music as an educational tool for deaf children.

Batlle said she learned in 2014 of the Subpac technology, developed for music producers and aficionados by a Los Angeles company, and a year later incorporated the devices into a music program she launched for the 500-student National School for the Deaf in Santo Domingo.

The annual whale migration to the Dominican Republic made it a natural learning opportunity for students interested in marine life, Batlle said.

“They learn about whale behaviour, anatomy, the environment,” she said. “They learn why the whales come here, what they do when they’re here. They learn to appreciate why whale watching is important and why whale hunting should stop.”

Passengers aboard this year’s voyage included teachers, students and guests from four academic institutions. Eric Quinlan, originally from Brockton, Massachusetts, and teacher of English and sign language at the 200-student St Rose school, served as interpreter for the deaf passengers.

“Being deaf, the students are never really going to know what sound is, but to experience it this way is just awesome,” Quinlan said as the boat trailed a pod of six adult whales through choppy waters.

While the whale excursions in 2015 and 2016 picked up clear melodies from the humpbacks, the hydrophone lowered from the boat on Tuesday mostly transmitted the static of rough seas. Ready with Plan B, Batlle used a recording of last year’s robust melodies instead.

Revelling in the sight of humpbacks and the pulses of last year’s songs, the students expressed sheer delight.

“How emotional, how beautiful,” David Montero, 17, said through animated signing. “This is my first time in Samana, the first time I ever saw a whale, and to know they sing - wow! It’s super!”


The Ghibli Museum Shorts Art Booklets The Ghibli Museum shows several short films exclusive to the Ghibli museum. The Saturn Theater has windows where automated shades lower and open before and after each showing of its short films. This is because Hayao Miyazaki designed the theater with small children in mind, who could possibly be scared of the closed in theater. The museum shows one of the following Ghibli short-films in the Saturn Theatre and these are their artbooks above in order: Koro’s Big Walk コロの大さんぽ Koro no dai-sampo Water Spider Monmon 水グモもんもん Mizugumo Monmon Mei and the Kittenbus めいとこねこバス Mei to Konekobasu The Day I Harvested a Star 星をかった日 Hoshi o Katta Hi The Whale Hunt くじらとり Kujiratori Looking for a home やどさがし Yadosagashi A Sumo Wrestler’s Tail ちゅうずもう Chūzumō Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess パン種とタマゴ姫 Pan dane to tamago hime Treasure Hunting たからさがし Takara Sagashi Updating my Ghibli Collection

I’m a girl and say “Ugh Girls”, I also say “Ugh Boys”.
I say “Ugh people” when they annoy me. I say “Ugh cats” when my allergy acts up.
I say “Ugh orcas” when I see them hunting baby whales in documentaries.
Just chill.
The girls together being “fake fake fake fake” got us all annoyed.

Top 10 Facts Of The Day (April 7, 2017)

10. An Italian pornstar Ilona Staller, who was a member of Parliament continued to work in porn videos during her political career. She often made speeches with one breast exposed, and even offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein in exchange for peace in the region

9. When Hunter S. Thompson died, his ashes were fired out of a cannon by Johnny Depp to the tune of “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan.

8. This is a closeup (macro) photo of a snowflake. 

7. Betty White is a huge animal lover who would have become a zookeeper had she not gone into acting. She rejected a role in “As Good As It Gets” because of an animal cruelty scene, she visits local zoos when traveling, and she’s been a long-term board member and generous donor to the L.A. Zoo.

Keep reading