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Monday, October 15, 2018

Mass whale deaths have researchers puzzled

With nearly 100 carcasses washing ashore over several months, scientists scramble for answers

In the last week four deep-water whales have washed up on the shores of Shetland, Scotland. While researchers are uncertain if these latest discoveries are related to the 80-plus whale carcasses recently found on the shores of Scotland and Ireland, or the 15 discovered on Icelandic beaches, they are pursuing the possibility.

While scientists are puzzled, they quickly ruled out 'natural' causes for these mass deaths, all of which having occurred over the past four months. Early estimations point the finger at localized sonar activity, either by military organizations (foreign or domestic) or oil and gas concerns.

Focusing primarily on 'disease' when looking at natural-occurring deaths, their assertion is based on the vast area of ocean covered, stating that it is virtually impossible for the animals to be contracting a terminal virus when the instances are as spread out as they are. While this is true, it makes it almost impossible to blame sonar as well.

The reason why is due to sonar's long-term, widespread use. It has been utilized for both tracking submarines and oil exploration throughout the northern Atlantic Ocean for decades, yet nothing of this magnitude has ever occurred before; that being the case, the possibility that it is suddenly causing death on this scale, over such a wide swath of sea, seems fanciful at best.

Speculation suggests that scientists jumped the gun on blaming human activity, either out of sheer laziness or willful manipulation. Whichever the case, without exploring the possibility that something natural may be occurring outside of 'disease' makes the prospect of learning - or being told - the truth remote.

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