Mighty Fine Blog

Good Vibrations?

It’s one thing taking your job seriously, but, when it comes to scientific research, how many of us would go free diving with Sperm and Humpback Whales? Well, that’s exactly what a team of researchers have been doing in the Indian Ocean of late.

Dare Win is a group of researchers determined to get up close and personal to the creatures of the deep. Keen not to frighten the whales by using bulky equipment, the researchers – all experienced freedivers – can stay underwater for more than four minutes on just one breath of air. The whales are often attracted to the divers and have been allowing the visitors to join their pods for hours at a time.

It should not, of course, be forgotten than Sperm Whales, in particular, can be very dangerous. Weighing up to 45 tonnes and measuring some 18 metres long, they have 20cm long teeth and could swallow several humans in seconds - without even pausing to chew! That said, they aren’t generally interested in attacking humans unless, of course, they are being attacked themselves.

Despite their relatively level-headed approach to their human visitors, however, Sperm Whales do pose several significant threats. As well as the chance of suffocation and decapitation (those tails are dangerous!), many people believe that the whales’ most intense vocalisations could cause death by vibration! These are the loudest animals on the planet and the clicks that they send out to scan their surroundings actually penetrate flesh – causing extremely painful vibrations.

To date, Dare Win’s new research methods have proved extremely fruitful and entirely safe, offering a fascinating insight into the life of these mysterious creatures.

Discover the wonders of the creatures of the deep for yourself with our fabulous Whale Watching holidays.

7. November 2014 by Emma Smith

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