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Attack of the Bored Orcas!

"For the last five years, killer whales have been ramming and sinking yachts, fishing boats and motorboats in the crystalline waters off the coast of Spain, Portugal, France and Morocco," reports.

According to the artist formerly known as News McPaper, a grand total of 673 boats suffered Orca assaults since 2020. At last count, the toothed whales sank five.

[I'm not sure why USA Today's crack [smoking] reporters couldn't ascertain the orcas' 2019 boat attack stats. I suspect the European Cetacean Bycatch Campaign deleted emails implicating the lab leak theory, until there were too many attacks to ignore.]

The orca attacks present a confounding cetacean conundrum. In this PC world of ours, Orcinus orca can't be the bad guys. Animals good. Humans bad. Orca bad. Free Willie good.

Hence the popular explanation for the attacks circulating amongst land-based bipeds. A Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-esque story of a mother's revenge. A boat-bashed orclet inspiring a wider war on shipping.

Refuted in no uncertain terms by Renaud de Stephanis, president of CIRCE (Conservación, Información y Estudio sobre Cetáceos).

There was no evidence that the attacks are being led by older female orcas in revenge for a boat harming a young whale, as has been suggested at times... The notion took the internet by storm in 2023, with 'Sink the rich' mugs and T-shirts featuring killer whales on them proliferating.

I want a "sink the rich" T-shirt with killer whales proliferating on them!

Misplaced modifiers aside, de Stephanis assembled a pod of international scientists in Madrid to eat tapas and defend the vilified toothed whales.

Their conclusion? The offending orcas are "interacting" with the vessels because "they are being enriched by the experience."

The sea is a very boring place for an animal. Imagine if you’re a dog or some other mammal, you can interact with objects around you. But in the sea there’s not much for the orcas to interact with, so they play with the rudders.”

And there you have it: juvenile Orcas are bored.

The whales attacking hundreds of boats are just having a bit of fun, ramming rudders and playing with the pieces. With neither their parents nor aggrieved humans with harpoons discouraging the activity.

Backing up the bored orca explanation: in 1987, a pod of teenage Northwestern orcas' started wearing a dead salmon on their head.

Once the practice spread to the adults, the kids moved on to wearing beanies donated by Seattle hipsters. Or something. At which point the adult orcas ditched dead fish headwear and stopped using the word "lit."

Monica AI calls the orca's salmon hat story a "misconception or a humorous exaggeration." Needless to say, it's true. "This echoes their observed pattern of playing with live seals before leaving them to die, and not consuming them thereafter," reported.

In case this "they're just foolin' around" explanation sounded a bit fishy, the scientists also blamed the cause du jour: global warming.

According to the experts, coal-fired power plants and SUV's caused the seas to warm to the point where orcas' primary food supply (bluefin tuna) rebounded, leaving the teens with too much spare time on their fins and no ability to turn their attention to social media.

The Pacific North West salmon hat trend lasted six weeks or so (revisited by a lone orca who didn't understand a few decades have to pass before a trend becomes fashionably retro). The rudder ramming "fad" has been going on for at least five years.

As the "kill the killer whales responsible until their pod-mates get the message and stop fucking around" approach is politically unpalatable, despite an increasing population of rudder-ramming whales, pro-orca anti-climate change eggheads got busy thinking of [expensive] ways to discourage the mammals' underwater tomfoolery.

"The orcas are very timid and careful, these plastic protuberances create acoustic sounds when the orcas scan the rudder,” said de Stephanis. In addition, orcas really hate jellyfish, so adding flowing pieces behind the rudder gives it the appearance of a jellyfish and deters the orca.

Interesting theory, with no empirical evidence to back it up. Nor any plans to retrofit thousands of boats to implement the head fake. No wonder, then, that the scientists have a more immediate, low-tech solution.

Stay closer to shore in shallow areas and move at least a mile away from any orcas who begin to interact with their boats, preferably toward shore to make rescue faster.

Outrun the orcas – who can swim 35mph – or prepare to abandon ship. Riiiiight.

The pro-orca scientists are operating under the same philosophy that informed English novelist James Anthony Froude: "Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself."

Which, as msn pointed out above, isn't true. Killer whales kill for fun. The bashed boaters should count themselves lucky. For now.

The only reasonable answer to this toothed whale criminality: fitting the bored teens with Apple Vision Pro glasses. Obviously.

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Chris Parnin
Chris Parnin
25 Μαΐ

If I learned anything from Jaws: The Revenge, it's that marine life TOTALLY holds grudges.

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25 Μαΐ
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Remember Finding Nemo? "Fish are friends not food!" Sharks, rapey dolphins and killer whales, not so much.

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