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  • Showing only topics in ~science with the tag "biology.marine". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Gray whales in Baja California frequently interact with humans in a remarkable shift. They were known to fight back when harpooned, even damaging boats, earning the nickname "devil fish."



      Gray whales put up such a fight against whalers and their boats they earned the nickname "devil fish." Today, in the same places where the whales were hunted to the brink of extinction just decades ago, they swim right up to boats, enchanting and even befriending the people in them.

      One of those remarkable encounters was captured in March in the Ojo de Liebre, a lagoon in Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The video showed a gray whale right beside a boat, allowing the captain to pick whale lice off its head.

      Although some thought the whale was purposefully going to the captain for help with the whale lice — which are actually crustaceans, not insects — experts told Insider that's probably not the case.

      Still, the fact that the gray whales of the Baja lagoons interact with boats and humans at all baffles researchers.

      "This is what's so strange. They were hunted almost to extinction," Andrew Trites, director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia, told Insider. "You would think being near a person in a boat is the last thing the few remaining gray whales would've ever done and they would've had this disposition to avoid them at all costs, the few that survived."

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