Biosonar failure in odontocete is due mainly to barotrauma in the cranial air spaces induced by intense changes in diving pressures generated by (1) undersea earthquakes and volcanic explosions, (2) military sonar, (3) undersea blasting, (4) airguns, and (5) the violent impact of a meteorite with the ocean's surface.
This page will try to limit the damage these misinform folks have done to the SEAQUAKE HYPOTHESIS.
The scientists say the August 30 quake was responsible. They did not elaborate. The only possible basis of their claim is that seaquake pressure changes (known scientifically as T-Phase Waves) can and do enter the deep sound channel and travel for thousands of miles with little energy loss. What the unnamed scientists likely suspected was that the 6.7 magnitude quake generated a series of T-waves that traveled 1,500 miles per hour and caught up with the pod on a dive somewhere near where they beached.
This would have been plausible if the huge pile of rock known as Jan Mayen Island were not positioned between the quake's epicenter and the area where the T-waves might have encountered the pod. The island bounced the T-waves in all directions except in the direction needed to injure the whales.
I naturally ruled this big quake out long before I decided on the 11 August 2012 event on the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of Iceland. Any injured whales from the Jan Mayen monster quake, will not beach until later this month. If this big quake emitted strong precursor signals a few hours before the main event, we will not see any beached whales since they would have run from the area before the quake occurred.
This was also a problem for scientists in New Zealand who said that if a magnitude 8 quake could not produce a stranding, it was impossible for a mag 4-6 quakes to cause beachings? The answer is that the big quakes always emit precursors detectable by the whales while the lesser magnitude events rarely emit warnings.
One supposedly stranding experts suggested that earthquakes and whales have been co-existing for 50 million years so surely evolution has already shored up the whale's sinuses and middle ears so that they can now withstand even a magnitude 9 earthquake. This so-called expert has not put an ounce of thought into my work, yet acts like the authority on all things whale.
There's no doubt... without the help of evolution, toothed whales would never have survived as a species in seismically-active waters. But scientists are wrong to suggest that evolution would fix it so that whales could endure seaquakes of all intensities. She has no understanding of evolution and a lesser understanding of whales.
Two hundred years ago, the oceans were teeming with whales and with massive schools of fish on the surface. In fact, they were so many whales that they could easily overgraze on the squid in a particular area and be forced to locate a new feeding grounds. Seaquakes might have prevented the overpopulation of specific areas by removing a pod or two every month or so. Thus, evolution had no desire 200 years ago to seaquake-proof whales.
The recovery of seaquake-injured pods depended on finding food on the surface... a relatively easy task 200 years ago. The seaquake-injured pods would swim downstream with the current, grabbing an occasional meal along the way, and slowly recovering from their injuries. Since their biosonar was knocked out during the time they were on the surface, they would have had no acoustic memory of the seafloor to use to guide them back from where they came. They would have been forced to find a new feeding grounds. Thus, seaquakes served evolution by preventing over-population of certain areas and by spreading the species around to new territory.
However, overfishing by large surface trawlers has removed 70 to 80 percent of the surface fish (low hanging fruit) and making it nearly impossible for today's injured pods to find enough substance on the surface so they can recover. As a result, far more pods are beaching now with fewer and fewer individuals in each pod. The trend is clear and threatens the destruction of the species from seaquakes alone. In other words, we might not be able to stop the decline of our pelagic toothed whales and dolphins even if we stopped the US navy and the oil industry from killing them.
It could already be too late!
Many save-the-whale groups say that oil industry airguns caused the Scotland beachings. They can prove that there were surveys going on near where the whales beached. Here's the problem with this concept:
(1) Folks should not assume that the whales are so stupid that they will swim into an area where 5-6 seismic surveys are ongoing or where Navy sonar is operating. Healthy whales move away from loud booming noises, not into them. They will not get so close that noise causes pain or panic. That is unless they are suffering a prior injury induced by an undersea earthquake or volcanic explosions. In every incident in which sonar was shown to have caused injury in whales, there was a prior earthquake upstream. If the quake knocked out their ability to navigate, they would have no idea which way to swim to escape further injury by the sonar or by the seismic survey vessel. In other world, sonar and airguns are injuring already injured pelagic whales.
(2) Airguns do injure coastal water species trapped inside a cove where they can't swim to safety. Small explosives used in conjunction with 3D and 4D surveys operate in shallow water where pilot whales never venture unless already injured. Even for coastal water dolphins, the stranding pattern caused by seismic surveys/explosives are stretched out over a few days to a few weeks. Several animals go ashore, then a few more a couple of hours later, and then few more the next day, and so on.
(3) Offshore deep-water toothed whales and dolphins never feed inshore, and are never trapped by seismic survey ships.
(4) Many experts ignore the consistent observations at the beach. One so-called expert said, "stranded cetaceans do not float passively with currents after experiencing some sort of “damage” possibly induced by a quake." My goodness, where did she come up "float passively". The SEAQUAKE HYPOTHESIS never suggested that whales "float passively" to the beach with the surface currents.
Water is 800 times denser than air. Swim with your eyes close in a current and within seconds, the resistance to swimming in any direction other than downstream, will turn you and point you headfirst in the path of least drag. Any so-called whale expert that does not understand drag forces while swimming should go back to the 8th grade.
She adds, "Instead they swim actively towards the shore often at their normal or even accelerated speed." Now what is an intelligent person suppose to deduce from this observation? The first thing to pop into my mind is that the whales are lost and have no idea where they are going. The second thing to come to mind is that sharks are not too far behind them.
The SEAQUAKE HYPOTHESIS says that stranded whales are swimming with the flow of the surface currents when they go ashore!
This expert claims the SEAQUAKE HYPOTHESIS is also invalid because dusky dolphins don't strand very often on New Zealand shores. But dusky dolphin mostly live on the eastern shores of South and North Islands. If they were injured by a local quake, the surface currents would guide them east towards the Chatham Islands, 800 km from their habitat. Chatham is the first opportunity seaquake injured dolphins would have to beach themselves (many dusky do strand at Chatham). However, an 800 km swim with the flow of the surface currents would take less than a week. Injured dusky dolphins would be relatively fresh and be able to resist beachings. Most would swim past the Chatham Island and out into the deep ocean where the sharks would harvest them.
She also claims that the SEAQUAKE HYPOTHESISdoes not explain why there is less strandings along the Pacific Coast verses the Atlantic Coast of both North and South America, especially since the Pacific Coast is more seismically active than the Atlantic. She adds: "Even California with all its seismic activity has less live strandings compared to the US East Coast."
If jealous scientists would take the time to read the SEAQUAKE HYPOTHESIS before they made stupid comments, they would have known whyfar more beachings occur on the east coast than on the west. It all has to do with upwelling currents that are exclusive to the Pacific Coast. Coastal upwelling forces cool bottom waters up from the seafloor. This upward flow of water causes surface currents to flow away from the beach. The only time a whale might strand on the Pacific Coast is when the upwelling stops or when strong shoreward winds wash the surface waters ashore, overcoming the forces of the upwelling.
WHALES NEVER STRAND WHEN THE BEACH IS CALM! There is a great difference between condition when standing occur and when they never occur. The obvious is so blatant that is shocking that scientists ignore what stares them right in the face. Don't be fooled anymore by scientific deception!
Whale scientists ignore the visual evidence that shows that pods of whales and dolphins go ashore when the surface currents are washing toward the beach and when the tide is incoming. My readers can prove this with their own eyes. The sea conditions below are ideal for beachings.
Be assured that the direction of the wind, the inflow of the surface currents, and the incoming tide pick the stranding beach, not the whales. This is the perfect example of biosonar failure in stranded whales. Stare at the picture above. The wind is blowing from the sea toward the beach, and setting up a strong shoreward flow. This is when strandings occur. On the other hand, you will never see a "lost pod" of whales or dolphins swim ashore when the sea is flat calm—the "lost pods" always comes ashore when the wind and surface currents are directed shoreward. The stronger the shoreward flow, the greater is the chance that a "lost pod" will be washed ashore! Look at the following videos and notice the rough seas in the background. (video1) (video2) (video3) (video4)(video5)(video6)(video7)(video8)(video9)(video10)(video11). Of course, it all depends on the wind speed at the time the whales came ashore, not when the camera arrives.
Never has a pod of whales been observed beaching itself when the surfaces currents were flowing away from the beach. This easy to check... the only time whales beach in California is when surface currents are flowing towards the beach.
Ignorant experts also say that at any given moment there is a quake happening somewhere; thus, it's easy to blame strandings on earthquakes. They are so sadly misinformed. Earthquakes that cause beachings occur only in known whale habitats. If fact, research ongoing at this present time may very well narrow the location of earthquakes dangerous to toothed whales to less than 10 spots around the globe. What we are finding indicates that most quakes injurious to pelagic pods of odontocete occur near hydrothermal vent fields. Maybe this is where the squid hangout? We're getting closer and closer every day to sorting out exactly what happens on the seabed during an undersea earthquake.
Capt. David Williams, Chairman Deafwhale Society, the world oldest marine mammal conservation group.