Orca whales have been in the news lately for developing somewhat of a thirst for violence. The species also goes by the name of “Killer Whales,” and they are finally starting to live up to their names.
Orcas are toothed whales that are the largest member of the dolphin family. They can be found in any part of the world’s oceans, which makes their recent violent turn that much more concerning.
And if they do decide to give a ship a run for its money, the Killer whales have the size and strength to do it. Male Orcas can reach up to 26 feet long and weigh around 6 tons, while females tend to be around 20 feet long and weigh in at a still impressive 3 tons.
If you’ve missed the recent stories about Orcas suddenly attacking boats and ships, tension has really ramped up between humans and the massive whales.
For the longest time, whales and humans got along for the most part, but some are suspecting that one whale who had a bad run in with humans has somehow conveyed the message to become violent to other whales.
Strangely enough, that’s also a big part of the plot for Avatar: The Way of Water, which just came out last December. The timing is a little odd, I will have to say.
Whales can definitely communicate with one another, as you’ll see in the clip below. The species has long been known to send sounds throughout the ocean, with scientists even confirming that many whales are intelligent enough to partake in vocal production learning (imitating and recognizing sounds).
So, it seems like this group of Orcas utilized their communication abilities and figured out a way to displace this seal who thought it was resting on the safety of a floating sheet of ice. The first portion of the clip shows the seal lounging on the ice while the Orcas bob up and down around the ice.
The whales can be heard making high pitched noises to one another, seemingly strategizing about how to take down the big seal. They soon disappear back into the water, making the seal think that it had successfully outsmarted the Killer whales.
That’s when a beautiful bird’s eye view video shows the whales gearing up and swimming quickly towards the ice sheet with the seal on top. Doing so creates a subsurface wave that easily breaks apart the ice and sends the seal scurrying for a safe spot.
The seal finds a big piece of the broken up ice and sets back up right in the middle of it, but that’s all going according to plan for the massive whales. The matriarch of the pod pushes the ice sheet that the seal is laying on out into a more open part of the water, and a close up of the seal’s face shows that the poor animal knows it’s in trouble.
As the seal remains a sitting duck, knowing that it wouldn’t be able to beat the speed of the whales in the water, the Orcas circle back and create another wave that sends water spilling over onto the ice sheet and throws the seal off into the whale infested water.
And that’s just about all she wrote for the seal, who puts up a small fight but stands no chance against the group of Killer whales.
The clip is from BBC’s Frozen Earth, and is described in the video’s caption as:
“This orca pod uses incredible tactics to hunt seals protected by rafts of ice. Only around 100 orcas in the world use this remarkable technique.”
Seems like we should maybe start getting a little concerned about the intelligence, teamwork, and strategizing ability of Orca whales…