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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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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'Bird Box': Movie Vs. Book

The differences are more vast than you think.

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I read "Bird Box" about three years ago when my English teacher recommend it to me. Ever since then, it has been my favorite book. When I saw that Netflix was making it into a movie, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I watched "Bird Box" and was only slightly disappointed. There were two scenes that I absolutely needed to see but they never appeared, Malorie and Victor in the bar and actual birds raining down on Malorie and the children in the boat. Since movies and the books they are based on are always different, I decided to write about the biggest differences that I noticed. Some of which, include a lot of gore.

1. Microphones

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Tom had the idea to use microphones with an amp before he thought of the birds in a box. He actually found the birds in a box when he went on a supply run around the block they were living on. Malorie thought of his idea after the children were born and took Cheryl's car to get them. Ever since that day in the book, she had them set up so everything outside was amplified. This, of course, was when the birds were no longer there.

2. Tom

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Tom had a wife and a little girl named Robin. Robin was in eighth grade and was really smart for her age but she looked outside and Tom had found her in the bathtub with her wrists slit. He buried her in the backyard and later found George's house, which he, Don, and George resided and thought of solutions to this problem which was originally called the "Russia Report". George had the idea of looking at them indirectly which he later found out was not a solution at all. In the movie, Tom had survived with Malorie and the children but in the book, he died when all of the other housemates died. Leaving Malorie to fend for herself and the children.

3. Tom and Malorie

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The movie shows Tom and Malorie in a relationship. But the book suggests that Malorie is the only one who has feelings for Tom. She longs for him, his voice, and his presence. But Tom is more concerned with being the leader of the house, although he has a kind tone towards Malorie.

4. Gore

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The book has way more gore than the movie, which is completely understandable why it didn't make the cut. There are scenes of the housemates blindly stepping on and running over dead bodies, finding dead bodies of families, and even found someone, dead, who had scooped their eyes out into a bowl on the table. The book also tells about news reports like a pair of old-lady twins who where biting people's faces off at a hospital that were shot by the police. Plus, the death scenes in the book were different from the movie, most likely because they are impossible and needed to been more real than what they were.

5. Deaths

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Shannon: She did not flip a car with a very pregnant Malorie in the passenger seat. Her and Malorie had been living in a house with blankets over the windows and while Malorie was downstairs watching the news, she called for Shannon who did not give a response. She walked upstairs to find Shannon had stabbed herself in the chest with a pair of scissors.

George: Although George did die watching the recording of the creatures, he did not bang his head on the floor. Instead, he tore his body through the rope that tied him to the chair and the book describes it as flesh ribbons.

The Housemates: All except Malorie died when Don removed the blankets from the windows and opened the doors.

Olympia: Although she did jump out of the attic window after giving birth, in the book, she hangs herself by her umbilical cord that she chewed off.

6. Gary

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The pictures that can be seen spread across the table are actually just notes in the book. Malorie steals Gary's briefcase that he brought with him and finds it. It had his ideas written in it stating that he believed people's reactions to the creatures were psychosomatic meaning that the insanity that follows from looking at them aren't the creatures but the result of dramatic people looking at them. He doesn't believe that the creatures make people go insane, they choose to go insane. The housemates cast him out after Malorie tells them about the journal but Don sneaked him to the cellar where he lived for about seven weeks, in solitude, feeding Don his philosophies. It was Don who originally pulled the blankets down and opened the doors, not Gary. However, Gary did enable this behavior.

7. Victor

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If you've read the book, this is probably the saddest part of it all. Victor is Jules' border collie who was locked in the cellar when the blankets were torn down. He survived with Malorie and went to the bar with her to fetch the microphones as her seeing eye dog. Except he saw a creature and it was then that Malorie knew animals were not immune. She listened as he snapped at the air and chewed off his leg. She had to leave him, she didn't have a choice.

8. Jane Tucker School For the Blind

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The safe haven Malorie and the children go to in the end, is a school for the blind. However, a lot of the residents had gouged their eyes out because it was the ultimate protection. Because they do not resort to this method, Malorie stays.

9. Supply Runs

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There were two supply runs that only consisted of Tom and Jules, not everyone. They found two huskies as seeing eye dogs and the bird box on the first run and the second run is when they went to the grocery store.

10. The Man on The River

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I think the purpose of this man is simply to make Malorie uneasy. He originally had a motorized boat and tried to convince Malorie to remove her blind fold and even got really close to the boat, but Malorie rowed away then got attacked by a pack of wolves.

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