Blue whales swimming in a red tide off the coast of California. Source: SIO,UCSD

Got an email the other day about the sighting of blue whales a mile off the coast of Del Mar, 10 miles from where I am. The email set rolling a chain of thoughts in my mind about whales and their magical world. Arguably the largest mammals to ever have roamed on earth,the blue whales, have their own idiosyncrasy which feature distinctly in many of man’s best adventure stories. A creature this size must have a heart that is bigger than any other, physically and metaphorically ! A friend of mine who studies whale songs once mentioned to me that whales can stop a song in the middle, swim away for a year and come back to the same spot a year hence and start the song from the exact same note. Legend or a true fact, there are many of this about whales. Moby Dick, for instance, is one of the most fabled. A tale about a wandering sailor, Ishmael and his encounter with the whale, the book’s namesake, who is being pursued vengefully by the ship’s captain. Glorious tales about man’s fight against one of the grandest cohabitant he has on this earth have always fascinated many.

Man, the number one predator in nature. The only other creature to have been known to attack a blue whale is the Orca (killer whale) in groups which only dare to attack baby blue whales. Never witnessed to attack an adult. So what makes man so daring to bother a creature that is more than a thousand times his size? Is it his foolhardiness to not recognize that one swash from its tail can shatter his innards to smithereens? What makes these swashbuckling buccaneers to be so reckless? The instinct of being invincible despite ones size or stature, that has made man the only multicellular organism to wander all corners of the earth and the space beyond. Yet is invincibility the key to our survival or is it the idea that leads us to our destruction? Are whales truly in harmony with nature, floating in the blue waters traveling millions of miles in a lifetime? All this, while we take pleasure in converting one form of elements on earth to another and shape and destroy our creations. Where is our harmony? When will our tune strike the right chord of nature? Many questions for which this note seeks an answer in hope that someday they will reveal themselves.

Cogito, ergo sum


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