- Beluga whales are some of the smartest marine animals in the world today.
- These white whales can actually learn other languages, including human speech.
- One truly special beluga once told a diver that was in his tank to “get out.”
The beluga whale is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating marine creatures out there in the oceans. It is known for its distinct white body, high-pitched calls, and lack of dorsal fin. However, belugas are best remembered by people for their love of blowing bubbles and friendly personality.
There is no shortage of funny beluga videos on the internet and a lot of people could probably tell you a funny tale about their meeting with one of the white whales at an aquarium. On the other hand, there are some truly interesting things about belugas that will astound you. Here are just 8 fascinating stories and facts about beluga whales.
#1. The Thames Visitor
Belugas usually live in the Arctic ocean but one unusual subadult decided to pay a visit to the United Kingdom. Benny the beluga was first spotted in the River Thames back in 2018 where he attracted hundreds of fans.
It is unclear how Benny ended up in the Thames but he certainly enjoyed it there, staying for several months. The Port of London Authority (PLA) even went as far as giving the whale the right of way and telling all vessels to watch out for the visitor.
#2. The Beluga Retirement Home
A pair of belugas became the first residents at an oceanic animal retirement home in Iceland. Little Grey and Little White were born in captivity at a Chinese water park where they spent several years of their life entertaining visitors.
The open sea haven for whales and dolphins was created by a conservation group called Sea Life Trust. Both belugas underwent survival training before being released at their new home close to the island of Heimaey.
#3. Belugas And Cat Poop
Scientists were baffled when around 34 belugas died in Canada’s St. Lawrence Estuary between 2009 and 2012. However, they may have found the culprit when they examined the hearts and brains of the deceased animals.
The organs were positive for a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which causes toxoplasmosis. T. gondii is a common cat parasite that can spread to other species, usually through contact with feline feces.
#4. The Horned ‘Beluga’
One of the most heartwarming stories about belugas involves an animal that isn’t actually a white whale. A lonely narwhal was somehow adopted by a pod of belugas in Quebec’s St. Lawrence River.
It is unclear how the narwhal ended up becoming a part of the family but he is evidently trying to fit in. The narwhal has been seen blowing bubbles just like his adoptive brothers and sisters.
#5. A Bilingual Beluga?
Marine mammals have their own language, so dolphins speak “dolphin” while belugas speak “beluga.” However, one exceptional beluga has proven they can also learn other languages.
In 2013, a beluga was added to Dolphinarium Koktebel in Crimea and was initially ignored by the dolphins. However, the beluga slowly integrated herself into the group by learning how to speak dolphin. Unfortunately, her new family didn’t learn her native tongue.
#6. The Beluga Who Can Talk
If you think a beluga that can speak dolphin is impressive, you’ve clearly never heard of Noc. The extraordinary beluga at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego could say human words like “out.”
Noc could reportedly adjust the air pressure in his nasal tract to mimic human speech. Unfortunately, the impressive beluga passed away in 1999.
#7. The Russian Spy?
Earlier in 2019, a group of fishermen in Norway were surprised to find a beluga who was wearing a harness. The whale was friendly, attempting to rub the harness against their boat.
The harness was eventually removed from the grateful creature and it was revealed that the harness had a camera mount and carried the words “Equipment of St. Petersburg.” It is believed that the beluga may have been used by the Russian military.
#8. Russian Spy Turns Savior
Since we’re on the topic of the Russian spy, the beluga clearly enjoyed his time in Norway so much that he decided to stick around. It is here that he became the savior of a gadget almost lost at sea.
When a woman who was trying to get a look at the beluga dropped her phone into the water, the whale immediately sprung into action. The beluga dove down and promptly returned the device to its owner.
Wine God Dionysus’ 2,000-Year-Old Marble Head Unearthed In Rome
The marble head was found in great condition in the heart of the city.
- The 2,000-year-old marble head was excavated in the heart of Rome.
- The marble head of the Greek god dates back to the Imperial era.
- The head had hollow eyes, which are believed to be filled with precious stones
High School Teacher Creates Funny Dictionary To Help Clueless Oldies Work Out Gen Z Speak
You might just be one of the oldies who find Gen Z speak weird.
- It is one of nature's ways that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us - Igor Stravinsky
- It is perhaps the same feelings that led a high school teacher in Massachusetts to find a way to bridge gaps with the new generations
- As funny as it seems, however, the thought of a teacher-created Gen Z dictionary posted by a student has gone viral, immediately gaining 500,000 likes on Twitter as soon as it was posted
- James Callahan, the teacher, shared the spreadsheet of the colloquial terms his students use and asked for a donation to upgrade his school's laptops
- Words and phrases including "periodt", "wig snatched" and "clapped" feature in the document, which he called the Callahan's Generation Z Dictionary
These Eco-Friendly Pencils Actually Grow Into Plants When Placed In Pots
Once they’re too short to use, these pencils can be planted and can grow into herbs and vegetables.
- Eco Hub, a startup from Cebu, Philippines, is selling ‘plantable pencils’ that grow into different plants.
- The product aims to give pencils “a new lease of life” once they’re too short to use.
- Another company, Sprout, also sells eco-friendly pencils after they were invented by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students.