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Killer Whale Pod Decides If It Should Eat Lady Or Befriend Her

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Everyone is starting a pod these days so this seems neat but, lady, it’s already been done. (::Insert quick plug for ZeroBlog30 pod here::)

Anyways, I’d like to think I’m pretty calm & collected most of the time.. but without a doubt I would have freaked out in this situation & the drone would have captured an impressive brown stream flowing out from behind my wetsuit.

That wet-suit-ruining fear would be a direct result of my ignorance, because until I did some research today I thought killer whales AKA orcas were dangerous creatures.

Killer whales (or orcas) are powerful predators capable of killing prey much larger than humans, such as leopard seals and great white sharks. They have also been recorded preying on usually terrestrial species such as moose swimming between islands.

Ah, ok, let me backtrack.

They are dangerous, but not to humans.

- In the early 1910s, the Terra Nova Expedition recorded that killer whales had attempted to tip ice floes on which an expedition photographer and a sled dog team were standing.

– On June 15, 1972, the hull of the 43-foot-long wooden schooner Lucette was stoven in by a pod of killer whales and sank approximately 200 miles west of the Galapagos Islands. Dougal Robertson and his family of five escaped to an inflatable life raft and a dinghy.

– On September 9, 1972, Californian surfer Hans Kretschmer reported being bitten by an orca at Point Sur; most maintain that this remains the only fairly well-documented instance of a wild orca biting a human. His wounds required 100 stitches.

– During the filming of the third episode of the BBC documentary Frozen Planet (2011), a group of orcas were filmed trying to swamp the film crew’s 18-foot zodiac boat with waves as they were filming. The crew had earlier taped the group hunting seals in the same fashion.

– On February 10, 2014, a free diver in Horahora Estuary near Whangarei, New Zealand, was pulled down for over 40 seconds by a killer whale that grabbed a bag containing crayfish and urchins, which was attached to his arm by a rope.

Ah, ok, let me backtrack.

They’ve had some run-ins out in the wild but besides Hans the surfer, have never seriously injured anyone.

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Ah, ok, let me backtrack.

So they’ve hurt some folks in captivity. BUT anyone who’s seen the Blackfish documentary knows they went insane because they should have never been separated from their families & kept in tiny pools to begin with. Looking at the facts it’s pretty hard to deny the intelligence of these whales & it seems in the wild any incidents were due to mistaken identity or just trying to get that one guy’s bag of sea-snacks. Can you blame them?

A lot of people in the comments say the woman is an idiot to have kept on swimming instead of heading to shore, & that the whales were deciding if she should be a snack or not. Honestly, even after knowing whales in nature are peaceful towards humans now, I still would have panicked & headed for the beach (probably the worst thing to do anyway)… but she remained calm, swam alongside a beautiful adult orca & what appears to be her babies & most importantly, had a wild moment of once-in-a-lifetime Zen captured by a drone for posterity & social media. Big win.

In closing, guys – be sure to use some of those whale attack facts on the ladies at the bar tonight. They’ll love it. Also, I went down a New Zealand (major bucket list travel site) orca rabbit hole & found some pretty amazing footage:

Skip ahead to second 00:19 of the video below from January 2018 if you want your heart to be in your butt. Two kids out in the water with two massive fins coming towards them as adults scream for them to ‘stay still!’…

And then there’s this group that sees a whale coming but doesn’t run out of the water until the last second.

Finally, if you reallllly want to feel the killer whale vibes here’s another video of snorkelers in New Zealand complete with Michael Jackson singing the Free Willy song.