Whales traveled halfway around the world: The journey of whales traveled halfway around the world is not unusual. Several whale species travel thousands of miles each year in migration. However, one whale, in particular, has recently made news of a remarkable excursion.
A humpback whale was seen in late 2016 off the coast of Sri Lanka, more than 8,000 kilometers from where it generally lives in the Antarctic. They sighted the whale for the first time in the Sri Lankan seas. It covered the most distance that a humpback whale has ever covered.
The whale’s travels
A whale travels on an epic trip. When it all started, the whale was feeding on krill and other small organisms in the frigid seas of the Arctic. It moved slowly southward in the direction of the tropics’ warmer waters. It grew bigger and stronger along the way until it was the size of an adult. As it moved further south, the whale encountered humans more regularly.
They hunted Meat and blubber in some locations. But frequently, people gawked when this enormous fish passed them. The whale eventually arrived at Antarctica from the southernmost point of its journey. It eats krill and other small animals that are abundant in these waters. The whale eventually finished its trek around the world after years of swimming and expanding.
How biologists tracked whales?
On August 11, 2016, while on a research excursion in the Gulf of Marine, a group of biologists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the New England Aquarium attached the satellite tag to the whale. Every time the whale surfaced enabled the researchers to follow the whale’s travels over the following 16 months. The data revealed that although the whale made a few long-distance voyages, it mostly stayed in the sea of Canada and New England.
The whale traveled south in November 2016 and spent a month in the waters of Georgia and Florida. After that, it immediately headed for Bermuda and arrived there in December. It left Bermuda for several weeks, made its way to Puerto Rico in January 2017, and then made its way to New England in February. The whale made a second-long trek across the Atlantic Ocean in May 2017 toward Iceland. It came in June and spent two months there before making its way to New England in August 2017.
Climate change’s effects on whales
Whales are suffering greatly as a result of climate change. As the oceans warm, they head north in search of cooler waters. It leads to increased contact with others, which can have negative consequences. Changes in the availability of food have an impact on whales as well. Populations of plankton are changing as the temperature warms. Accordingly, some whale species must obtain the food they require to survive.
If we don’t take steps to lessen our greenhouse gas emissions and curb the rate of climate change, the future for whales will be gloomy. This astounding tale of a whale that traveled halfway around the world serves as an incredible reminder that animals are capable of extraordinary feats.