Instagram has changed up their "explore page" and has started infiltrating my regular timeline with videos "I might like." I don't know when this started, but I do know that every other post I see, is from an account that I don't follow. Do I love them all? Yes. I get served pics and videos of animals, flowers, beautiful vacation destinations, calm scenes in the rain set to the La La Land music, you know, the usual stuff. Today I woke up to this whale playing catch. This whale in particular is famous, named Hvladimir. After doing some research, I found out some very interesting information:
The whale's first known sighting in Norway came at the end of April 2019, when a blob of white flashed past fishermen near the islands of Ingoya and Rolvsoya.
The whale seemed to be seeking help. A concerned fisherman, Joar Hesten, sent images to marine biologist Audun Rikardsen, who contacted the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries for assistance. Seafaring inspector Jorgen Ree Wiig was dispatched to investigate.
"I saw the whale, thinking this is really something," Mr Ree Wiig told the BBC. "I knew this situation was quite unique."
The fisherman put on a survival suit and jumped into the icy water, freed the whale and retrieved the harness. To his surprise it had a camera mount and clips bearing the inscription "Equipment St. Petersburg".
An investigation was launched by Norway's domestic intelligence agency, which has since told the BBC "the whale is likely to have been part of a Russian research programme".
Putin has cute, friendly whales running around with cameras attached to their bodies? Whales who are clearly smart enough to fool humans by doing the one thing that is irresistible to us - playing fetch and acting like a dog? We're fucked. We are so fucked. I squealed like a little girl when I saw that whale coming back with the ball. Hvladimir is just out here in the big ole blue, chopping it up with the homies, getting in a couple laps. Do I actually think big head Hvladimir is a spy? Probably not. The camera is gone, right? He's still chillin off the coast being nice to civilians? Maybe he's moved onto being "under cover" now that he's accidentally made a name for himself…or maybe he got a taste of Norway and decided, this is more my speed? Everyone knows the feeling of starting a job you don't really want. Maybe he had some bills to pay, a family to feed. Maybe he got laid off and his only option to get back on his feet was to strap some tech to his body from St Petersburg. Does this mean he's a bad guy? Does this mean he's getting monthly deposits into a Swiss bank account, untraceable back to Putin? Should we be keeping our guards up?
I don't know what the answer is. I do know that I want to pat this angel on his fluffy forehead and play catch until my arm falls off.