After surviving an explosive attack by whalers back in the 19th century, a bowhead whale lived through the Great War, the Depression, WWII, the Red Scare, the Cold War, the 60’s, disco, Ronald Reagan, Internet time, and most of Bush Jr., before succumbing to another attack, last month off the coast of Alaska.
It’s an amazing story. According to the AP account (which for some reason comes across best when published in the UK) marine biologists have long suspected the bowhead could live for a century, and possibly even two, but were unable to prove it. Now, when a chainsawer recovered a bomb lance tip from the whale last month, they were able to date the weapon with confidence, and know that the whale was first attacked about 1890, for crying out loud.
We take so much of this astounding world around us for granted! Sorry, I can’t get over it. Here’s a picture of the bomb fragment recovered from the whale. The marks were made by the chainsaw.