Skip to comments.Scientists stunned as grey whale sighted off Israel (Jonah?)
Posted on 05/11/2010 8:51:49 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
JERUSALEM (AFP) - The appearance of a grey whale off the coast of Israel has stunned scientists, in what was thought to be the first time the giant mammal has been seen outside the Pacific in several hundred years.
The whale, which was first sighted off Herzliya in central Israel on Saturday, is believed to have travelled thousands of miles from the north Pacific after losing its way in search of food.
"It's an unbelievable event which has been described as one of the most important whale sightings ever," said Dr Aviad Scheinin, chairman of the Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center which identified the creature.
A population of grey whales once inhabited the north Atlantic but became extinct in the 17th or 18th centuries and has not been seen there since.
The remaining colonies live in the western and eastern sectors of the north Pacific.
"What has amazed the entire marine mammal research community is there haven't been any grey whales in the Atlantic since the 18th century," he said. Scheinin said the creature, a mature whale measuring some 12 metres (39 feet) and weighing around 20 tonnes, probably reached the Atlantic through the Northwest Passage, an Arctic sea route that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and is normally covered with ice.
(Excerpt) Read more at sg.news.yahoo.com ...
Its a whales life. Not a bad life really, swim all over the world in the deep blue ocean.
Wow! This is pretty fascinating. :) Thanks!
They say several hundred years since a whale like this has been seen near Israel ? does that mean that they had records of whales being in that area 700-800 years ago ?
It’s Bush’s fault.
It is Hillary and her peace mission.
I bet the whale did a big sneak through the Panama Canal when no one was looking!
No, I'm pretty sure it just means that there are records - ship's whaling logs, probably - going back to the late 17th century that noted gray whale sightings/killings in the Atlantic.
This isn't the first sighting off Israel in 300ish years, it's the first sighting anywhere in the Atlantic, to include the Mediterranean which of course is only accessible to whales from the Atlantic.
Mabye the whale is waiting to give somebody a ride Jonah style!
There are so many of those usless stinking sacks of blubber in the Pacific they had to go somewhere!
Some of them ended up in Hollywood
Couldn’t be Jonah. The Bible says Jonah was swallowed by a fish. (The Hebrew word means fish.)
Dang, dude, my eyes!
Right. He “lost his way”. Must be a Democrat whale.
Wonder if the whale will make it through the Suez? If it does, then those damn Somali pirates will probably make whale burgers out of it before it can make it to the Indian ocean.
Shame on you for making fun of our narwho-Americans.
i love how they try and spin global warming into it as the only way a whale could have made it there. maybe it swam full south and back up along africa. it could happen :)
It also could have swam right through the Suez canal. I've been through that canal, there are no locks. It is one level from start to finish, with absolutely no gates or locks of any kind. IMHO, a whale - if he was curious enough - could easily make that journey and if he was a younger whale, probably without detection.
Gray Whale Spotted on Wrong Side of World... (Israel)
I read the other day that the word in Hebrew is the same word that is used to describe all things that live in the sea. I believe the word is “dag” (IIRC)?
No problem. :)
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