What would be so terrifying as to make you leave your home to die?

PragmaticStatistic

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
2,060
Florida
Consider for a moment what would be so terrifying as to make you leave your home to die?

A recent project I Google Mapped that involved just such a scenario and got me to wonder how it would apply to me or you.

Now apply that scenario to the mass strandings of whales. What was so terrifying as to make them leave their life giving watery environment to die?

Natural reasons?
Disorientation?
Undersea earthquakes?
Distortion in the magnetic field?
Navy Sonar?


Google Map of Mass Whale Stranding Sites

Historically, all of them did. So, just imagine how such a scenario would apply to us. How would we react if all the air around us vibrated with aloud noise and scared the heck out of us. What would we do? Yet, us caring humans want to help the dying family of whales by sending them as lonely individuals back into the very thing they feared so much. Some of these fears were things that involved tissue damage to the whale. So, is our caring nature helping the whales or torturing them?
 

kbear

Ad Honorem
Sep 2010
6,431
it is extremely odd that whales would beach themselves. i think it is a combination of the reasons you listed. even more curious is this story of a dolphin rescuing 2 whales who had beached themselves. the humans were having no luck getting these whales into the sea so this dolphin came and led them back out.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp_motddvnQ]Dolphin saves whales in New Zealand - YouTube[/ame]
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,099
I thought whales beaching themselves has been going on for centuries, so it seems unlikely that navy sonar is the cause. I'd go for natural reasons, but which ones I don't know enough about to say.

Perhaps the whales are depressed and commit suicide. Maybe someday one will survive on land and we'll see evolution in action.
 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
I'm not sure whether whales would beach themselves in such numbers historically, I don't spose the information exists.

Modern naval sonar may be the cause. I know the USN tries to limit the use in case it might cause damage to whales but I'm not sure if other navies do. As whales communicate via sonar and sound travels much further in water it could give them quite a whale ear ache.

I would leave my home if it was haunted, fortunately I don't believe in ghosts.
 

kbear

Ad Honorem
Sep 2010
6,431
Why do whales beach themselves?: Scientific American

this article just states the same reasons. the jamestown colony reported mass strandings also. the largest stranding was 835 whales which is amazing. can you imagine walking down the beach and finding 835 beached whales?? some are euthanized by a bullet to the brain if they keep beaching themselves after they have been put back in the water several times.
these are very intelligent creatures so these mass strandings are very strange.
 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
Many animals navigate by the earth's magnetic field, perhaps it changed slightly and affected their navigational ability?
 
Sep 2011
24,135
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It is strange for so many to beach themselves at once. I don't know whether earthquakes would cause it, surely tremors happen often under water? Maybe it is the sonar...