25 April 2013

Beached Pilot Whales Force Europe to Stop War Games

April 25, 2013:   EUROPE’S largest military exercise was forced to cancel yesterday after three whales stranded on an Easter Ross beach in Scotland. War games that had been due to take place near Portmahomack (Dornoch Firth) as part of Exercise Joint Warrior were halted to avoid distressing the pilot whales, which had stranded overnight. Fears were raised that the exercise may have been to blame for the beaching.  However, according to the Seaquake Hypothesis advance by the Deafwhale Society, Inc., these 3 whales, and likely more, were injured a month earlier by two undersea earthquakes that ripped apart the seabed about 2,500 km upstream from the stranding beach.  The quakes occurred along the undersea volcanic mountain range known as the Reykjanes Ridge, 1162 km southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland.  The area is a well-known habitat for long-fin pilot whales.

The two shallow-focused quakes, one and one-half hours apart, caused the rocky bottom to bounce up and down violently for about 30 seconds.  This jerking (piston-like) motion generated a series of rapid and excessive pressure changes (aka: seaquakes) above the epicenter.  The fast changing pressures in the water induced a barotraumatic injury in the cranial air spaces of the diving whales. Barotrauma is the most common injury suffered by scuba divers.

The resulting barosinusitis disabled the biosonar system of the pilot whales, and rendered them as lost at sea as a blind sailor cast adrift in a row boat without a compass.  Unable to dive and feed themselves due to extreme pain, and unable to echonavigate the open ocean, resistance to the flow of the current turned the whales and pointed them downstream into the path of least drag. Said differently, ocean currents, the exact same energy that carried each grain of sand to build the beach at Portmahomack, was the same energy that guided the lost whales thereto.

As is clearly visible in the video linked above, the wind was blowing the surface currents directly to the beach. With no sense of direction of their own, the whales simply swim along with the flow until their bellies hit the sand. The two that were pushed back off the beach stand little chance of recovery. At least their carcasses will go to feed other deserving marine critters, including the sharks.

Multiple earthquakes are often associated with beached whales. It is thought that repeat exposure is more injurious than a single exposure.  The second larger event was also a thrusting earthquake that would send vertical traveling ambient pressure changes directly upward.

Whales are thought to be able to detect major earthquakes days before the main shock; however, lessor events that occur without precursors often catch them by surprise.

It is also thought that several hundred years ago seaquake injured whales were more likely to recover before they beached.  The key to this recovery was being able to feed during the healing process; any easy task during the 1700s and 1800s when massive schools of small fish littered the ocean's surface.  All the pod had to do to catch an occasional meal was swim into one of these tightly-pack schools with their mouths open. But everything is now changed.  Man's purse seining factory ships have stripped away all this low hanging fruit.  Now, with little food on the surface, seaquake injured pods are no longer recovering.  Mass strandings have increased alarmingly, and the numbers of individuals in each pod has dwindled to an all time low; a sure sign that our generation may soon witness the last mass stranding on Earth.  Seaquake injury alone is likely enough to deplete the breeding stock and cause the collapse of the offshore species.

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Site Map for http://deafwhale.com  

Dec 09: Whale Dangerous Earthquake South of Perth 
Dec 09: Seaquake causes dolphins to strand Baja California   
Nov 23: Seaquakes kill 322 baleen whales in Chile    (shocking)  
Aug 24: NOAA whale scientists dumbfounded   
Aug 14: stranded dolphin is determined to be deaf   
Aug 08: seaquake causes pilot whales to strand Nova Scotia   
Jul   27: is our stranding solution flawed as scientists claim   
Jun  01: pilots stranded Isles of Skye from Reykjanes Ridge   
May 22: dead whales washing ashore on the California Coast   
May 10: earthquake kills 20 Sei Whales near Chile Coast   
Apr  10: seaquake strands 150 melon-headed whales in Japan   

Dec 25: navigation failure in mass stranded whales  (most popular)   
Dec 08: seaquake causes 7 sperm whales to beach Australia   
Nov 24: seaquake beaches 3 sperm whales at Golden Bay   
Nov 04: seaquake beaches 60 pilot whales in Bay of Plenty   
Oct 29: nine pilot whales strand on Prince Edward Island   
Apr  11: 60 pilot whales beach in Bay of Plenty   
Mar 20: Cape Ray Newfoundland 37 dolphins beach   
Mar 14: undersea quakes louder than nuclear explosions   
Mar 13: seaquakes cause whale strandings 32 million years   
Mar 02: blue whale killed by seaquake in Kuwait   
Feb 27: seaquake kills young killer whale   
Feb 23: predicting mass beachings based on seaquakes   
Feb 21: lessons in understanding why whales beach   
Feb 18: seaquake Greenland Sea kills 3 sperm whales   
Feb 12: nine orcas killed by seaquake   
Jan 30: Cape Cod mass stranding predicted   
Jan 20: seaquake causes 39 pilot whales to strand Florida   
Jan 16: seaquakes beach 65 pilot whales in Golden Bay   
Jan 05: seaquake beaches 30 pilot whales in Golden Bay   

Dec 06: why did pilot whales beached in the everglades?   
Apr 30: seaquake beaches 6 killer whales in Iceland   
Apr 25: beached whales stop war games   

Dec 08: seaquake beach pilot whales South Carolina   
Nov 15: pilot whales beach at Golden Bay, New Zealand   
Nov 04: seaquake causes two pods to beach at King Island   
Oct 28:  pilot whales strand on North Andaman Island   
Oct 17: earthquakes cause New Zealand whale stranding   
Sep 09: earthquake kills pregnant sperm whale   
Sep 03: seaquake strands pilot whales in Scotland   
Aug 24: two quakes cause near beaching in Cape Verde   
Jul  28:  200 Pilot Whales Northwest of Iceland   
Mar 19: Four Sperm Whales Wash Ashore in China   

Dec  31: world's rarest whales killed by earthquake   
Mar 06: 52 melon-headed dolphins strand in Japan   

Nov 20: 52 Pilot Whales Stranded in Tasmania


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