The California Republican

This blog was created in order to report on a streak of conservatism currently taking hold in California. Recent events, and voting records show much of the same here in California, but the trend is one that is certainly in our favor.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Tracking the Wandering Whale

Since it is so close to Christmas time, and network news has all the "sensational bad news" covered, I thought we would lighten things up a bit today with a fun story about a BIG creature.

While this is just a random mother blue whale and her calf, a blue whale may indeed be the mystery creature. Some of the largest blue whales ever recorded have been 120 feet long and tipped the scales at over 160 tons. That's a biggun alright!

Anyway, let's get to the story...

Click for Story

A blurb to peak your curiosity...

For the past 15 years, the Navy has been eavesdropping on an odd beast that wanders the North Pacific Ocean.

It’s a whale, of the baleen group that includes the humpbacks, and it may be some kind of blue whale. Nobody knows, but he (or she) has an unusual voice, which allows Navy hydrophones to pick it out from all the thousands of other whales in millions of square miles of empty ocean and follow its wanderings.

And wander it does. Passive hydrophone tracking has been used to monitor sea mammals for a long time, but usually the recordings have lasted for minutes, perhaps a few hours.

This whale has been recorded for months at a time.

Not continuously, of course, but the voice is so distinctive that Navy locators are able to fix its position closely enough to reconstruct its path. One year’s track was followed for more than 11,000 kilometers, nearly 6,000 miles.

The whale with a voice but no name is called the “52-Hz Whale” by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. A research paper on “52-Hz” was published in Deep-Sea Research recently.