Dick Watching: The Log and Line

Posted by Juliet Linderman

You know when you’re in the arctic hunting whales, or studying whales, or hanging out with whales, but you’re too nervous to wear a regular bright orange life vest because it might scare off the white whales you seek? Well you guys, worry no more! According to this article in the Wash Po, “Now, the whaling captain from the nation’s northernmost town of Barrow and other Eskimo whalers have begun to wear personal flotation devices, custom-made in the white they’ve traditionally used to make them more invisible to their massive prey.” Tiiiiight.

There’s a car named after Moby Dick. That’s all.

Yikes: things just keep getting worse for Orcas ‘round the world. First, that trainer turned into lunch down in Orlando. Now, Science Magazine is saying that these guys are, by nature, even more ferocious than we thought. “From Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula to South Africa’s coastal waters to the icy seas of Antarctica—even in Canada’s Hudson’s Bay, where they had rarely been seen before—scientists are finding mammal-eating killer whales on the prowl.” Poor dudes.

And now, a news tidbit from my hometown rag. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a species of worm that likes to chow down on whale carcasses (not to mention a type of snail that likes to snack on dinosaur bones). According to this article, these little dudes soften the skeletons for other under-the-sea critters like crabs and anemones. Apparently, this goes down miles beneath the surface, and research was conducted in the Monterey Canyon, where scientists shot video of “thousands of reddish worms clinging to the carcass of a gray whale.” These worms are weird for so many reasons, not the least of which is they have no mouth, teeth or gut. They just…suck out all the nutrients in the whale bones with their roots, which are “packed with bacteria.” Gross. Like, really gross. But also: totally amazing.