Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Narwhals: They totally need a good dentist

(Thanks for the Narwhal Liz! It's Perfect!!*)

And that isn't a horn. It's a Tooth.

In Inuit legends, the Narwhal was created when a woman holding onto a harpoon was pulled into the ocean. Then it gets odd... She was wrapped around the harpoon, then the submerged woman got wrapped around a beluga whale on the other end of the harpoon. Thus proving that anything is possible if you are drunk enough. Some medieval Europeans believed that the Narwhal tusks were the horns of unicorns.I can see the resemblance.

The tusks were said to have magical powers. My guess, is that they had the "magical ability" to make people believe complete B.S. That would explain why so many people would buy these things, shape them into cups and whatnot, thinking they'd be protected from poison, if someone should poison them, in that cup...

(Queen Elizabeth- She paid the equivalent of 2 million dollars for one!)

And I guess the poison added to the drinks, was the Narwhals trying to defend themselves...

I'll get back to those tusks in a bit, OK? Hold your horses!

The name "Narwhal" is based on the old Norse word, "Nar" meaning corpse. RUN!!! ZOMBIE NARWHAL! Oh, wait, it's because of their coloration, dur. Some people refer to them as "Moon Whales", and the Inuit, yeah those crazy guys! They call them " Qilalugaq", once again, with enough booze, you can make up anything. While the Inuit are allowed to hunt them, because they live in an ice house and all, and I guess they are still mad about that whole harpoon/ woman / beluga whale thing. Now, how the Inuit knew they were in the same family is a mystery, because they were always too drunk, I suppose. Don't tell Ahab, but they are both white whales!

You can spot them mostly in the north Atlantic, around the arctic. Sometimes you can get a glimpse of them alone in the North Hudson Bay area, the Hudson Straight, and the Baffin Bay area. I totally have no idea where any of those places are, but they sound cold. There are about 25,000 to 50,000, but what do I know, I left a giant margin for error. PETA isn't too happy about that, but c'mon, is there anything they're really happy about?

The truth of the tusks origin gradually came out of the dark during the age of exploration. i guess they got fed up drinking out of "unicorn cups" and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So explorers and naturalists started to go check them out for themselves.

And in 1555 some guy named Olaus Mangus published a drawing of a fish-like creature with a horn on its head. I guess he couldn't tell the difference between a whale and a fish, maybe it was the giant horn that threw him off?

OK! Back to the horn! Or tusk, or tooth, whatever! The males usually have only one horn, about one in 500 could have two, they are the lucky guys! One female has been recorded with two tusks, ever. Anyways, it's a tooth that grows usually out of the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left handed helix. the tusks can get around 10ft. long, the whale itself is about 13-16 ft. They still haven't figured out why these guys have tusks, probably to stab stuff, but what do I know right? Research has shown it to be a sensory organ, but they aren't sure what it senses. I know, great research right? The males can weigh up to about 3,500 lbs. and the females around 2,200 lbs. The guys really let themselves go!

They are pale, with brown speckles, their heads, necks, and edges of the flippers can be nearly black. The older they get, the brighter they get. They can eat pretty much whatever they want, but they prefer Long John Silver's. They love the fish and shrimp platter. And they even have the occasional baby seal... Why does PETA like these guys again?

So In my style of writing about interesting and crazy stuff, I think these guys fit right in!

Thanks for the topic Lizzie and Vicky!

-Ari Racz

* That Belongs to Liz!
Image © Elizabeth Savenella.


  1. LOL! I love it! very informative and I love that their favorite food is long john silver's. Cant wait to read ur next post!

  2. hahaha i agree with vickie! narwhals never cease to amaze! whenever i get a little free time i will do your illustration and send it over

  3. Wow, that's an awesome narwhal, Liz! Great job.

  4. OK...When they swim in packs, like in the picture, how many are stabbed to death per mile swum?

  5. If you calculate average speed, the number of Narwhals, the temperature of the water, and the relative distance at any time Aquaman is from the pod... It usually works out to roughly 6,000 a mile, but then again I just made that up, so it may not be true.