Narwhals: Fact Or Fiction?

Narwhals: Fact Or Fiction?

Could the unicorn of the sea really be a hoax?
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As my move-in day for college draws closer, I find myself losing sleep due to a mixture of excitement and anxiety. During these sleepless nights, I've begun diving down a strange section of the internet - the black hole of conspiracy theories. Sure, a fair amount of the content I've perused consists of crazy ramblings about celebrities secretly living as reptilian creatures wearing human flesh, but a few caught my attention. Specifically, one of the least talked about theories I've discovered. Lurking on the internet is a small group of people who believe that narwhals, the unicorns of the sea, have never existed. Before you click out of this article, hear me out. While I won't divulge into my personal thoughts on the subject, I'll go ahead and present the thoughts from both sides and allow you to pick your own. It should be noted that most conspiracy theories, such as this one, are to be taken lightly, and have no serious implications in our day to day lives. That being said, to start off, we'll analyze the beliefs of those who believe narwhals exist.

This first position almost seems self-explanatory. You may find yourself thinking, of COURSE they exist! The commonly held belief, both in the scientific and pedestrian fields, is that narwhals are just as real as the pets we having living alongside us. After all, major names including National Geographic and WWF have run stories on the creatures. In WWF's "Unicorn of the Sea: Narwhal Facts" article, the organization shares basic facts and statistics on the creatures, and even mentions the satellite tracking system they use to monitor the endangered species. A link at the bottom of the article transfers readers to an even more extensive narwhal page, featuring migration paths and a few more statistics. Scientists know quite a bit about narwhals and their existence. The biggest claim for those who believe in narwhals is that they have common sense on their side. Everything published about the species point to their existence.

Then, the group of doubters enters the scene. I first heard of the theory from a video on YouTube. A channel named Super Carlin Brothers posted a video entitled "Are Narwhals Real?!" just over three years ago. The content itself is only three minutes long, and the main purpose of the video seems to be mere entertainment, but it still gets viewers thinking.

Jon argues that if any sort of animal were to be made up as a hoax, the narwhal seems to be a likely candidate. All it would take is some basic photo editing skills to add a horn to a whale. As the narwhal is "supposedly" a member of the whale family, this may not be a far stretch. The unicorn, a clearly fictional creature, is simply composed of a horse with a horn photoshopped on. Realistic images and footage of fictional creatures exist, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility that somebody could create footage of a fake creature and attempt to pass it off as authentic. Another argument from the doubters is that narwhals have never been seen in any zoo or aquarium. In fact, most people don't know anyone who has even seen a real narwhal face to face. For those who are skeptical of the narwhal's existence, seeing IS believing. The fact that extensive scientific evidence exists regarding the narwhal doesn't frighten this position either. Plenty has been written describing mystical creatures as well. J.K. Rowling delves deep into the world of mythical creatures and their care in her writing revolving around the Potter universe. Making up facts also lies within the realm of possibility.

Now, despite all this, someone would need a motive for faking an entire species. If you visit WWF website, you'll find a donate button on the page for narwhal preservation. Monetary gain, while not particularly impressive, would be a benefit to inventing a fictitious species. The power to convince the world that a nonexistent creature exists is also tempting, if possible to pull off. While they may not have science on their side, those who doubt raise some legitimate points.

When all is said and done, it's up to you to decide where you lie in the narwhal debate. Do they really exist, as we've been told, or is there a worldwide hoax happening right before our own eyes?Even if the discussion may be irrelevant or silly, it makes for excellent conversation and hilarious debate, no matter what you believe.



Cover Image Credit: WWF

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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5 Ways We Can Help Protect Marine Life That Will Make You Say 'Shell-Yeah'

It is serious!

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Marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, and seals have captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world. But if we're not careful about how we treat their environment, they may not be around for much longer.

Here are some ways you can help protect our marine life friends!

1. Be beach-friendly. 

Whether you are at the beach to surf, swim, or just relax, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks or coral. If you really want to make a difference, start patrolling the beach area, and help pick up any trash you see lying around. Maybe even see if you can gather a group of people who will do it with you!

Also, don't take wild fish or hermit crabs away from their homes! They're not likely to live very long if they're taken away from their natural habitat. Also, never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water- a practice that can be very harmful to them.

2. Use fewer plastic products. 

Plastic can end up as ocean debris, which contributes to habitat destruction and entangles and kills tens of thousands of marine animals each year.

Many marine animals (such as sea turtles) mistake plastic waste for a viable food source, sometimes causing blockages in their digestive system. Though the declining sea turtle populations in oceans are due to a variety of reasons, plastic pollution plays a significant role. They eat things like jellyfish and are very likely to mistake a plastic straw for a jellyfish snack.

Also, don't ever release balloons- just pop them and throw them out. If you release them, they are a danger to marine wildlife who can accidentally swallow them because they mistook them for food.

3. Limit activities that can alter an animal's environment. 

Worldwide, dolphins face a variety of impacts that threaten their very existence- most of which are impacts of human activities. In recent history, the Yangtze river dolphin was declared extinct due to its river habitat being obstructed by the building of dams and the invasion of boat traffic.

When you are in the animals' natural habitat, be careful not to leave behind or do anything that could cause serious harm to their environment. Clean up after yourselves, and don't leave behind fishing wires, hooks, trash, or anything else.

4. Advocate for oil spill clean-up. 

Going along with the above statement, oil spills can be caused not only by equipment breaking down but also by people making mistakes or just being careless. Oil spills into rivers, oceans, and bays are often caused by accidents involving tankers, pipelines, storage facilities, drilling rigs, refineries, and barges.

Most oils float, so the animals most affected sea otters and sea birds that are found on the sea surface or on shorelines if the oil comes ashore. During most oil spills, seabirds are harmed and killed in greater numbers than any other kinds of creatures. If heavy oils get into the feathers of birds, they may die of hypothermia for losing their ability to keep themselves warm. This same effect is observed with sea otters. Sea otters can easily be harmed by oil since their ability to stay warm depends on their fur remaining clean. When oil remains on the beach for a while, other creatures, such as snails, clams, and terrestrial animals may suffer too.

Many light oils, such as gasoline and diesel, are considered to be toxic. They can kill animals or plants and they are also dangerous to humans who breathe their fumes or get it on their skin.

Go online to learn more about oil spills, and what you can do to help!

5. Lesson your carbon footprint. 



Because of ocean acidification, global warming has been a hot topic in the ocean world. When acidity of the ocean increases, it can cause devastating impacts on marine life, including plankton, corals, shellfish, and the animals that eat them.

The vast majority of the air we breathe comes from the oceans. That's why we say "if the oceans die, we die."


Marine mammals like the vaquita dolphin (only 30 left in existence due to illegal fishing in the Gulf of California) are not much different than humans. They know when they are in trouble, and they get scared.

Start researching online today to see how you can help!

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