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Home* News and Stories → White wha­les and grey wea­ther

White wha­les and grey wea­ther

And what else did the sum­mer bring in Spits­ber­gen? Nega­ti­ve sto­ries inclu­de the let­hal acci­dent at Esmark­breen (see August news, no fur­ther details known so far) and the loss of a pri­va­te sai­ling boat at the north coast (see Sep­tem­ber news), luck­i­ly without loss of life.

Bey­ond this, the sum­mer was lar­ge­ly cha­rac­te­ri­zed by unnor­mal­ly warm water in Spitsbergen’s fjords and around the coasts, which led to a record loss of sea ice in the area and pos­si­b­ly also to the rather grey wea­ther that pre­vai­led through most of the sea­son.

The­se sub-arc­tic water mas­ses may also have brought wha­les up, which were seen around Spits­ber­gen in unusual­ly lar­ge num­bers. Espe­cial­ly Hump­back wha­les were obser­ved regu­lar­ly, most­ly in eas­tern parts of Spits­ber­gen and often several dozens of them. The most spec­ta­cu­lar sigh­t­ing was pro­bab­ly a com­ple­te­ly white indi­vi­du­al. White Hump­back wha­les are not unknown to sci­ence, but extre­me­ly rare.

Dan Fisher, crew­mem­ber on SV Anti­gua, mana­ged to get some exci­ting pho­tos of this rare ani­mal. Click here for a lar­ger ver­si­on of the image below.

White Hump­back wha­le in sou­thern Hin­lo­pen Strait, August 11, 2012. © Dan Fisher.

White whales and grey weather: White Humpback whale.

Source: per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!



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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange