# SUICIDE - Why do whales beach themselves???!!! WHY?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Nebuchadnezzaar, Jan 13, 2003.

1. ### CaptainThorRegistered Member

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The Navy also fires off Uranium coated rounds every few weeks to test their anti aircraft guns. The radiation on these things is minimal, but it sure doesn't help.

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who's navy?

5. ### Q25Registered Senior Member

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maybe they just want to get a nice Sun tan

7. ### bethRegistered Senior Member

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Thank you Immane1

This was the first intellegent reply to this post so far. I was getting really scared the father I scrolled down.

I don't believe this odd occurance has anything to with becoming 'confused' by electrical impulses/sonar/currents.

Whales have a natural instict to sense predators and when in great danger, would flee toward land (if that was an option) to escape a preditor (obviously large) that wouldn't chase it into such shallow waters. Maybe they beach them selves on acident. travelling too far and finding the tide moves out on them.

Or possibly, like in the case of an orca, comes onto the beach chasing a lpump little seal... gets stuck... and suffers in agony as the seal mocks him, eventually dying of a broken heart.

Okay maybe not really but you get my point.

8. ### Dr Lou NaticUnnecessary SurgeonRegistered Senior Member

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Re: Thank you Immane1

They don't become 'confused', their inner ear is extremely sensitive and autopsies reveal that this part of their body is physically damaged in such a way that could only be caused by man made sonar sounds.
Not all the beachings are from this but alot of the ones lately are.
I've heard people saying they are escaping predators before but I think the theory is ridiculous.
They are very intelligent and their "natural instincts" have about as much affect on them as our natural instincts do on us. Probably less. They would realise that if they beached themselves they would definately die but they need to face predators every day and more often than not they would be able to evade them. The idea that they rush to shore and commit suicide as soon as a predator is in the area is really stupid.
I don't know why they do it but I think they definately know they are killing themselves, the reasons they want to kill themselves would be nearly as varied as the reasons people kill themselves.
The ones with exploded ear drums would be in intense pain and would just want to die, fair enough, others might have diseases and also be in pain. Some might have had an argument with their hunting buddy who knows?
The thing is whale culture is very complex, people try to know everything and often decide they do know everything before they do. No body really knows anything about whales, how much would we know about different human cultures if we couldn't communicate with them and ask them questions? Very little and these are beings whom we share similar body language with also.
so obviously we haven't even scatched the surface of whale behaviour and we probably never will.

9. ### evildiskoRegistered Member

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There are theories that the world's axis is shifting. Could be possible that this is the cause of the sudden increase in whales and dolphines beaching themselves. Would also explain some of the strange weather patterns and earthquakes in areas where it's not usually common.

For example, Melbourne had a record week of 40C to 46C straight. That is unheard of. In the following two months, Melbourne had two earthquakes within two weeks both measuring 4.6. Again, unheard of... Just a theory...

10. ### cully5Registered Member

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.... could be possible whales are actually remote controlled boats given as Christmas presents given to aliens who got bored and dropped the controller leaving the whales on manual control.

No these are not the first or largest earthquakes to hit Melbourne. Yes, that was a record week in terms of average temp (just), any argument that this is evidence of the Earth's axis shifting falls down a well and can't get out.

11. ### matthyaouwRegistered Senior Member

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How exactly?

“This is the third largest earthquake in the Melbourne-Gippsland region for over twenty years, but an earthquake this large has not occurred this close to Melbourne since 1973. Larger earthquakes occurred at Thomson Reservoir in September 1996 and at Boolarra in August 2000.
On average, Australia has an earthquake of this size or larger every two years and they can occur anywhere in Australia. The largest earthquake in Australia was estimated to be a magnitude of 7.2 in 1941 in Meeberrie, WA,”
http://www.ga.gov.au/image_cache/GA13696.pdf

That's not exactly what I'd call 'unheard of'...

12. ### Search & DestroyTake one bite at a timeModerator

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If a whale's navigational system ismessed up because of a sub, it might get too near the shore and the currents will carry it to the beach.

If a whale ischasing prey, it might get too near the shore and the currents will carry it in the same way.

If it has an infection, perhaps it wants to beach to prevent it from spreading.

Etc.

Beaching has been happening since the beginnings of time. There is a reason anything from dead fish, to dolphins, to jellyfish and giant squids end up on shorelines. The current carries them.

Have there been increased beachings in correlation with subs? There are a few examples but not enough.

13. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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Strandings are of several types, says Susan Parks, a research associate in the Environmental Acoustics program in the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State.

"Entanglement in fishing gear is one of the leading causes of mortality for marine mammals, many of which wash up on shore dead or injured.” The tide carries these whales into shallow water, depositing them on the beach.

Then there are multiple-species strandings, explains Parks. “This occurs when different species of marine mammals beach themselves at the same time and place, suggesting that they all died from the same cause”

Scientists have been researching possible causes of this phenomenon. One explanation involves the whale “pod” social structure. For instance, whales that travel in pods use a “strength in numbers” survival strategy, but this can backfire when the dominant whale runs aground. According to Parks, “The rest of the pod may follow a disoriented or sick whale onto shore.”

Weather may also play a part in beachings. Explains Parks, “In 1998, there was a major stranding on the West Coast of the United States where many different species, particularly sea lions, starved to death.” This mass stranding, she adds, was thought to be caused by El Niño’s effects on sea-water surface temperatures.

Several multiple-species strandings have occurred following military use of mid-frequency sonar, sparking public outcry. “One reason for the level of concern about these incidents is that they involved the rarely-seen beaked whales ,” explains Parks. “These whales were found beached five, sometimes ten at a time. The problem with the sonar theory,” she adds, “ is that we still don’t fully understand the cause and effect mechanism of how sonar might affect whales, or why it might affect beaked whales in particular.”

More:

http://www.rps.psu.edu/probing/beachedwhales.html

14. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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Whales don't have predators. The largest marine predator is the great white shark and sharks are solitary hunters. Whales travel in pods and there's no way the largest great white could take on a pod of whales, even the smaller ones. Orcas are almost as large as a great white and far more powerful (being warm-blooded air-breathers), and they travel in pods too, but they have all they can do to separate a baby whale from its mother and take it down.

15. ### tuberculatiousBannedBanned

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According to Wikipedia Orca's are on average three times as big as great whites.

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Males typically range from 6-8 m long (19-26 ft) and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes.[18]
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Reaching lengths of more than 6 metres (20 ft) and weighing up to 2,250 kilograms (4,960 lb)
F = M x A.

Moreover, great whites are supercharged sharks. They are basically warmblooded.

Or as wikipedia says:

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Gigantotherms, though almost always ectothermic, generally have a body temperature and metabolic rate similar to that of endotherms.
Predators always try to go for the easy meal. That usually means separating the calf from the mother/group. It's typical predator behaviour, not 'all they can do'.

16. ### munty13Registered Senior Member

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There's something to do with the hunting habits of beaked whales that draws them in to confined areas to trap fish. The dolphins hunt in a pack, closing down any escape route. Thing is, they're using echolocation in confined areas - could this be dangerous? I mean dangerous if there was something freakish in the enviroment....

Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
17. ### tuberculatiousBannedBanned

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What worries me is bats. They fly around with echolocation, and can sense a spider web. And it has been proven that they can see through clothes with their canny ability to navigate even when their eyes have been poked out. They can see us naked! That's something I would rather not think about too much, but I wonder if this notion can be transplanted into a device that is portable and can be handled by a not so tech savvy person.

18. ### deafwhaleCaptain D. WilliamsRegistered Senior Member

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The ANSWER to why they strand . . .

The most obvious reason why pods of whales run into a sandy beach is because they are lost at sea. The evidence for the wayward pod is found in the fact that they are always swimming with the flow of the current when they go ashore. And, they always swim with the current when they freed from the beach. Shoreward currents carried each grain of sand to build the beach in the first place and is the same energy carrying the lost whales thereto.

The question is why are they lost? The most logical answer is because a diving-related injured has disabled their biosonar. The only diving injury that would do this is barotrauma in the sinuses and air sacs of their heads. The logical source of this barotrauma would be the alternating pressure waves generated during an undersea earthquakes (seaquakes).

Google my SEAQUAKE THEORY if you want to know more....

Capt. Dave Williams
Deafwhale Society, Inc.

19. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Landlines create DC and low frequency electromagnetic fields.

20. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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Could be this:
http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/marine/sonar.asp

Or maybe this:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0806_030806_whaleheart.html

21. ### engineerxRegistered Member

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While I'm sure there are no conclusive studies, I am confident that it is safe to say that EMR does not effect whales. EMR is nothing more than light: some higher frequency than we are capable of seeing, other lower frequency than we can see. In the grand scheme of things humans create a very small portion of the total EMR (light) that exists. Even heat is light (yes your body is glowing you just can't see it.)

While water may appear to be clear, it absorbs high frequency light (all that crap radiation) and salt water absorbs even more. All of that means that the amount of human made EMR that reaches the average whale in his entire lifetime is less than a person holding a cellphone to their ear for a moment.

As for using land lines... well that would actually be counter productive for whales (if EMR actually interferes with their biological navigational systems.) While landlines do create lower frequency (there is no such thing as EC EMF) EMF (same thing as EMR) they are still of a high enough frequency that if radio communications are damaging so are landlines. Also, if we didn't rely on radio transmissions for communications we would have to run many more cables across the ocean. While if properly shielded the cables wouldn't radiate much energy to the environment... the physical impact could be considered more damaging in many cases.

Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
22. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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Military ELF transmitters would necessarily outgun the ambient ELF, otherwise the submarine receivers would be swamped with noise. So that would be your largest contributor of saltwater-penetrating EMR.

It would seem fairly easy to try to correlate whale beachings with ELF activity. Also, it would seem easy enough to test with live whales.

It doesn't seem plausible. Sonar, however, seems to be a serious issue, and prop and screw noise. It's also hard to understand how they are affected by seaquakes. The other question is whether they are affected by oil exploration charges, or any other military underwater ordinance testing.

It does seem that they are lost, but why not get lost at sea and drown from exhaustion? Do they head for land instinctively when they are sick or hurting? Where do they usually beach? Are they attracted to urban noise?

Hopefully there will be new discoveries to help spare these majestic animals from what seems to be a slow and painful death.

23. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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http://www.gtowntimes.com/local/Whale-autopsy-shows-heart-and-liver-disease

http://www.ecogent.ca/enviro/env_stle.htm