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Orcas Spotted
January 20, 2004 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Fourteen killer whales were spotted about 90 miles off the coast of Texas on January 18 (Video/stills included). This is one for the record books: There are "only 9 reliable records of collected sightings before 1990. Another 14 have been collected since then," said University of Texas Marine expert Tony Amos. Larger stills from the video are available here.
posted by eclectica (11 comments total)

 
Turn back!
posted by the fire you left me at 10:44 AM on January 20, 2004


Disturbing thought: is it possible this is a result of the advanced Navy sonar project?

I remember that was sorta-killed with the stipulation that it 'could be used in wartime', which in today's climate basically equates to the judge saying 'yeah, whatever . . .'

Anybody know if the system is actually on or off, and whether or not there's a causal relationship at work here?
posted by Ryvar at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2004


I wouldn't worry about it - they know how to deal with Killers down in Texas!
posted by jonson at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2004


It is estimated that there about 70 killer whales in the Gulf of Mexico but seeing them is another story.
Wonder why this is, the murky water(never been more than 10 miles to 20 miles off shore) or their behavior pattern during the season, mating, resting, eating, ect.?

A group of men aren't standing around the Dolphin Dock telling whales tales, there's truth to their stories and they shot the video to prove it off the coast of Port Aransas.

Passengers say even though they were on the "Dolphin" boat to go fishing, seeing the whales was one of the highlights of the trip.

Is the writer having fun or uneducated? Killer Whales are Orcas which is the dolphin's largest species. Their nickname comes from their food chain, kill whales.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:12 PM on January 20, 2004


Or just vague? Orcas are toothed whales (odontoceti)....
posted by Utilitaritron at 12:23 PM on January 20, 2004


The area has a lot of dolphins, and tourists go down to the "Dolphin Dock" to get on the "Dolphin Boat" to go out to see them. The same boats are used for deep sea fishing or to take people to and from the deep-sea oil rigs, essentially water taxis.
posted by pomegranate at 12:28 PM on January 20, 2004


Orcas are found throughout the world's oceans, but tend to prefer the cooler, more productive polar and temperate waters.

Coming from So. Cal's Pacific Ocean, the gulf is like bath water for me. Since they prefer cooler water which is found at deeper depths, maybe why the low sightings. Will agree these folks had an awsome sighting.

poegranate: "Dolphin Dock" "Dolphin Boat" seeing whales dolphins, that's why I said, is the writer having fun.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:58 PM on January 20, 2004


Wow. I've lived on the west coast of FL my entire life and had no idea there were killer whales out in the Gulf. That's awesome... I saw them in Alaska years ago, it was freakin' amazing. I love whales so much I almost punched my mom.
posted by logovisual at 1:08 PM on January 20, 2004


I think we all know what's going on here.


"An Unknown Alien probe is headed straight for Earth and is immune to anything Star Fleet is doing to try and stop it. Any ship or Space station in the path of the Alien Probe is rendered Powerless...

"[Spock] starts to examine the signal that the Alien Ship is sending to earth and figures out that it is the language of an extinct in the 23rd century creature the Humpback Whale. So the crew decides that the only way the Alien Signal can be answered is by finding a living Whale to communicate back. Unfortunately the Humpback was whaled to extinction in the late 20th century thus requiring time travel to find a Whale and bring it to the future."

Granted, killer whales != humpback whales , but this seems a little bit too suspicious, doesn't it? Ockham's razor clearly suggests that this has something to do with Star Trek.
posted by Sinner at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2004


eclectica--thank you so much for posting this! I did bottlenose dolphin fin photo id in 1988-89 in the same area and I got to see what were believed to be the first photos of orca in the Gulf. The idea that so many have been spotted is amazing. Here's a link to the marine mammals found in the Gulf of Mexico--it includes blue whales, sperm whales, northern right whales, etc. We know squat about the world's oceans and sadly seem to know even less about the Gulf of Mexico.
posted by lobakgo at 4:17 PM on January 20, 2004


"I love whales so much I almost punched my mom."

high five
posted by luckyclone at 7:07 PM on January 20, 2004


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