Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Nothing to fear
September 3, 2010 12:31 PM   Subscribe

Very happy Gentoo penguin.

From the youtube page: Just to be clear, I DID NOT TAKE THIS VIDEO, and nor did I add the (annoying) music. This video was given to me by the chef at Vernadsky, the Ukrainian research station about 90 miles south of where I'm currently living (Palmer Station, Antarctica).
posted by Potomac Avenue (34 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't believe no one has posted this yet. It's almost two years old.
posted by valkyryn at 12:43 PM on September 3, 2010


Oh hey! Tsvan! Same guy who was interviewed here? Neat.
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on September 3, 2010


Funny, I was just thinking of this the other day! The version I saw was half as long - I always wondered what happened after he hopped on the boat.
posted by Calzephyr at 12:59 PM on September 3, 2010


Very happy Gentoo penguin.

Clearly they've never had to clean up a borked emerge --update world before.
posted by kmz at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


A police officer sees a man driving around with a pickup truck full of penguins. He pulls the guy over and says: "You can't drive around with penguins in this town! Take them to the zoo immediately."

The guy says OK, and drives away.

The next day, the officer sees the guy still driving around with the truck full of penguins, and they're all wearing sunglasses. He pulls the guy over and demands: "I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo yesterday?"

The guy replies: "I did ... today I'm taking them to the beach!"
posted by netbros at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [28 favorites]


Okay so I'm not the only one who sort of expected, once the penguin was standing on the prow & taunting the whales, for an orca to leap out of the ocean and land face-first in their little rubber boat, killing them all?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


Yeah to be honest i was thinking about renaming this Very Patient Killer Whale.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:23 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


For most of the video I thought they were on a decently-sized research vessel, maybe at least the size of the boat in Jaws. When the camera finally panned around to show the penguin hopping around on the prow with the whales like six inches below him, I thought 'Uh.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:27 PM on September 3, 2010


I would not be so stoked to have the penguin in the boat were I in their position.
posted by beerbajay at 1:28 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those orcas knew that penguin was on the boat but couldn't figure out how to get at it. I'm surprised they didn't try breaching the gunwhale. I've seen video of them coming up out of the water onto a beach to nab seals, so it's not like they couldn't do it if they tried.

There's no way I would have been calm sitting in that boat, let me tell you.
posted by tommasz at 1:36 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's no way I would have been calm sitting in that boat, let me tell you.

Me neither -- that's all I could think about. But I'm guessing these researchers or whatever have enough experience around orcas that they had reasons behind not worrying. Still!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:41 PM on September 3, 2010


Today I learned "Gentoo" is actually a type of penguin, and not just a weird word made up by Linux geeks.
posted by lholladay at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Smartest penguin in the world, DUMBEST HUMANS EVER. Seriously, you think that little boat is going to protect you from The Very Hungry Killer Whales? It's right there in the name! KILLER. WHALE. Don' give me any of this Shamu/Free Willy crap. I saw Orca. It did not end well. Look at the trainers at Sea World who have become afternoon snacks/chew toys for captive killer whales. As it is, we're only one eco-tourist mishap away from Werner Herzog's next nature-is-full-ofunspeakable-horror movie, "Shamu Guy"
posted by KingEdRa at 1:50 PM on September 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Funny how we all identify with the penguin.
posted by gurple at 1:55 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think the whales may have been repelled by the music...
I would have been motoring for shore, especially when that one pulled alongside and studied the boat. Penguin appetizer, research team for the main course.
posted by bitmage at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2010


Ha!, now reading the comments, I understand why the penguin was so very happy. I am such a dork.

(It seemed to me like the penguin was jumping around, playing all cute with the whales...I guess I thought they were friends.)
posted by iamkimiam at 2:20 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


But I'm guessing these researchers or whatever have enough experience around orcas that they had reasons behind not worrying. Still!

I'd be having that moment of doubt: "I know that, after hundreds of years of recorded interactions, there has never been a documented attack on a human by an orca in the wild, but fuck, I really am hoping that I don't end up being the first. I mean, what if the reason they were never documented was that the killer whale killed the person, and then everyone that was watching!!"
posted by quin at 2:21 PM on September 3, 2010


I guess I thought they were friends.

I think this is the thread you're looking for.
posted by scalefree at 2:28 PM on September 3, 2010


Heh. Prodigy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:29 PM on September 3, 2010


I went whale-watching last week and had the good fortune to see a killer whale.

They are large. Like, we-need-a-bigger-boat large.

These Antarctic orcas were looking at the scientists, and looking and the penguin, and I could almost see them thinking about how easy it would be to bite a rubber boat and have scientist and penguin for lunch.

I am happy the penguin is happy, though!
posted by rtha at 3:41 PM on September 3, 2010


scalefree: "I think this is the thread you're looking for."

Oh my, I feel like Lisa Simpson in the Trilogy of Error episode. "KILLER WHALE? I am in the wrong thread!"
posted by iamkimiam at 4:04 PM on September 3, 2010


(It seemed to me like the penguin was jumping around, playing all cute with the whales...I guess I thought they were friends.)

You could be right. They were inviting the little guy for lunch.
posted by zarq at 4:04 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The way the penguin hops up on the edge of the boat made me think of the bullied kid taunting the playground bullies from behind the teacher. The teacher doesn't really see the kid doing the taunting, but the bullies can. They can't do anything right now, because the teacher is watching. The picked on kid thinks he's safe, and everything is fine. But some day the teacher will be gone, and those bullies are just waiting for that moment.

The analogy fails when the bully stand-ins are physically capable of just eating the teacher and swimming away. I wouldn't have been nearly so calm and cheerful. The penguin is cute, but penguins aren't known for having "Killer" as part of their name.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:04 PM on September 3, 2010


Goddam, those scientists are so obviously not in the least bit worried about those killer whales, just watching it makes ME not the least but afraid of them.

I'm hoping that somehow in the future I wind up with a few other people who HAVEN'T seen this video on a tiny raft in the antarctic ocean surrounded by killer whales, so that while they freak out I can lean back all nonchalant and look totally badass.
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:13 PM on September 3, 2010


Penguins: little guys in tuxedos.

How can you not love them?
posted by bwg at 6:24 PM on September 3, 2010


On Tuesday, June 16, 2008, John Lurca and Willem Daforca died of starvation.
posted by Casimir at 6:51 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


They are well-dressed. And delicious.
posted by maryr at 6:59 PM on September 3, 2010


tommasz: Those orcas knew that penguin was on the boat but couldn't figure out how to get at it.

I read Shackleton's South not long ago (amusingly enough, the 'Popular Penguin' edition ;-). He recounts orcas punching upwards through foot-thick ice to grab penguins and seals, as well as belly-flopping onto floes to overturn them.

I'm wondering what experiences and thought-processes lead to an orca deciding "uh-nuh, nope, in this case it's not a good idea…"
posted by Pinback at 7:22 PM on September 3, 2010


Compassion? Maybe most orcas don't like to kill humans any more than most humans like to kill orcas.
posted by maryr at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2010


maryr wrote: "Compassion? Maybe most orcas don't like to kill humans any more than most humans like to kill orcas."

Maybe they've all learned from experience that boats are not tasty.
posted by wierdo at 8:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe they've all learned from experience that boats are not tasty.

It's the delectable, chewy center that you want. You throw the shell away.

I did not know that the Ukraine had its own Antarctic research stations, though upon reflection it makes sense. I wonder how many of the former SSRs have them.
posted by XMLicious at 8:55 PM on September 3, 2010


Maybe they just figured that the penguin wasn't worth it, and they'd go find easier lunch. That is, they weren't that hungry yet. The killer whales, I mean. Kinda like when you're only sorta hungry, and you could go for a burger, but the line is out the door, so you say 'meh' and go to the nearly empty sub shop next door.
posted by sandraregina at 9:03 PM on September 3, 2010


I was wondering why, during the first half of the clip, the penguin keeps dicking around with the whales, instead of making a straight dash to shore. Then I understood that, for quite simple hydrodynamic reasons, it'd then be lunch within thirty metres. The size difference means that a penguin is no match for an orca in a straight dash. Its only option is to turn and duck until, most likely, exhaustion sets in and it is snapped by the whale. Unless, of course, there's quite literally a lifeboat providentially floating around...
That wasn't a happy Gentoo. That was a very, very lucky one...
posted by Skeptic at 2:59 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or, to put it more succinctly, here are the thoughts of the penguin in the video:
"Oh, FUCK! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, ICE FLOE! Jump! PHEW, that was a close one! Uhm, it's crowded in here. Let's better keep an eye on those fuckers down there..."
posted by Skeptic at 3:10 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


« Older Drivers in West Vancouver will soon see a 3D image...  |  The Student Loan Scheme: Gatew... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments