Are solar storms causing whales to beach themselves?


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/10/are-solar-storms-causing-whale.html


#2

Solar storms? pfft, reality is a lot darker than that: More than likely, the stewpot of chemistry that we call the modern ocean is driving these whales mad.


#3

Eat poisoned food long enough and ya wanna die too.


#4

See? Solar kills! I never saw no whale get killed by Clean, Reliable Coal™.


#5

The original authors had an interesting theory that covered a recent series of whale beachings in the North Sea. It explained why they beached whales might be young and male, and seem to follow solar storms. It falls short of proof, but that is the way good science usually works: you publish the theory based on the data you have, and we see whether later data fits this theory or not. If the correlations with age, sex, and solar activity is coincidental, then we would expect a regression to the mean.

Your theory is that this is not so, and instead pollution (here unspecified) from Europe is causing these (exclusively young, male) whales to kill themselves. If your paper needs peer review, I would be glad to help.


#6

When I’m found passed out naked on a beach after a months-long rager with a group of horny gay DILFs, I usually blame solar storms too


#7

Military sonar too. Just saying.


#8

I really want to somehow convey how great your comment is, but I can’t come up with anything nearly as eloquent as you, so I will just say … LOL!


#9

If I’m reading this correctly, they’re saying that the reason only male sperm whales are beaching themselves in the North Sea is because only male sperm whales go to the North Sea, right? In other news, the North Sea is wet.


#10

No. They’re not saying anything about why it’s only male whales.

They explain that only male whales make the journey. That’s background only.

The paper posits a reason why they get lost and strand themselves.


#11

Because the females WILL stop and ask for directions.

“Look, my whale sense is never wrong, Edith. We took a right at Albuquerque and now your mothers house should be just through here.”

“But Archie, the fauna looks all wrong here. I don’t remember this kind of coral near mothers house. Let’s stop and ask that nice blue tang for directions.”


#12

I did think about making that comment. I managed to stop myself.

Thank you for falling on that grenade - I think?


#13

Confused: So if whales get lost they force themselves on the dry beach instead of staying in the water? They are stupider than I tought.


#14

Yeah? Try googling “truck stuck under bridge” with an image search.

That’s people following a defective navigation system without the excuse of trying to navigate their way through shifting sandbanks and rapidly changing water levels.

The areas in question are generally very flat but still have significant differences in depth. Tides come in and out very quickly. From a human perspective you can be walking on dry land one minute and be completely cut off a few minutes later.

People die out there quite regularly because they misjudge.

See for example the chinese cockle pickers who died in Morecambe Bay (different area but similar conditions).

For a water dweller, the same problem exists but in reverse. You may be able to swim for ages over what seems a safe depth. A few minutes after the tide turns, you could be stuck well in land.


#15

People have driven into large bodies of water too!


#18

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