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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18 Realities Only Chihuahua Owners Understand

Tiny tongues, toys and tummy rubs.
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Being a Chihuahua owner is a task many are not cut out for. Chihuahua hearts are big but there owners' are bigger. From constant coddling to invasive snuggles, there are some things only a Chihuahua owner understands:

1. Tiny tongue in your nose.

Be wary. Look away for a moment and your Chihuahua's tongue will slide into your nose faster than you can say stop. Just to be clear, this doesn't end at noses. Other body cavities, such as the eyes, ears and mouth are also at risk for Chihuahua infiltration.

2. Cat toys are its toys.

When your dog is tiny, it needs tiny toys.

3. Burying.

If your dog is missing, it's probably at the foot of your bed... under the covers. Oh, your bed is made? You don't think they would have been able to nuzzle down without disturbing your pillows? Wrong.

4. Claw marks halfway to your knee.

Because they want to be picked up and that's as high as they can reach.

5. Belly rubs.

Lots of them.

6. The fact that your dog is basically a cat.

They play with cat toys. They're cat sized.

7. The fact that your dog is more like a baby than a dog, or even a cat.

Okay, scratch that. Owning a chihuahua is more like having an infant that needs constant coddling. If they could talk we'd hear "pick me up, mommy" all day long.

8. The shakes.

Shakes because they're scared. Shakes because they're nervous.

9. Any miniature sized objects become toys.

Wine corks, toilet paper rolls...

10. Constant crying.

They cry when they're too excited, overwhelmed or scared which means it's always eye-wiping time!

11. Snuggles in your body's crevices

Mere cuddling is not enough for these creatures. Snuggling is only adequate when they strategically place themselves into the most irritating curve of your body- like the arch of your back or the back of your knees.

12. Being judged for the type of dog you own.

As if all Chihuahua owners participate in this type of embarrassing behavior... not saying that I don't.

13. Little dog syndrome.

14. Rain is not your friend.

Let's not even talk about thunder. There's no way you're getting your dog out of the house for a of couple hours.

15. You can't count how many times your dog has been called the Taco Bell Dog.

Yes, we get it, it's a Chihuahua. No, it doesn't need a sombrero.

16. You never go anywhere in your house alone.

Going to the kitchen? So are they! Bathroom, no problem, they'll be there to support you!

17. 'Sit' probably took you six months.

Let's just say, at least they've got the cute thing going for them.

18. The stank eye.



Cover Image Credit: Rachel C. Baxter

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Houston, Let's Not Forget Harvey

Harvey had an impact that went beyond floodwaters.

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Almost exactly a year ago, Houston was victim to Hurricane Harvey's torrential storming and flooding. A year later, recovery has been swift but not complete. Some areas still bear the brunt of Harvey's damage—and some losses, of course, can never be made up.

Harvey taught us, as Houstonians, more about ourselves and each other than we've bothered to know in a long, long time. I live in a neighborhood where I'm lucky if I ever manage to catch a glimpse of my next-door neighbor, let alone have some attempt at a conversation with them.

I remember though, when Harvey hit, how everyone would be out, surveying the water levels, asking each other for the latest updates and evacuation possibilities, and checking in to make sure everyone was all right. It made me understand what being a member of a community can truly be like.

It was also a wonder seeing how much compassion and mercy were still present in people; recovery could have been delayed for much longer without the help of every single person who pitched in. I'm not just talking about immediate relief like providing boating services to shelters and providing food and supplies to evacuees stuck at said shelters.

Even the rebuilding that began weeks later and is still ongoing was supported by people's lives, times, wallets and hearts. Spending weekends helping clean out residential areas and hosting food drives for the homeless became the norm, and volunteer lists overflowed with the number of people who were willing to come out and lend a hand.

Today, I remember Harvey and I realize that it marked a trying period for the city. Lives were lost and many people lost many invaluable things; some people are still trying to recover from the impacts of the hurricane.

Recently, the Carolinas were hit by Florence, a tropical storm that seemed like nature's attempt of irony after Harvey.

Thankfully, meteorologists were able to provide timely enough weather updates that the inhabitants of the worst affected areas were able to evacuate to a safer location before the storm hit. Even with about a million people being told to clear evacuation zones though, almost fifteen people still died and many hundreds were rescued by air and water.

Right now, many people in those areas are in the same position our community was in a year ago; many watched the hurricane take away everything they had ever known and loved, and are in the critical process of rebuilding in the aftermath of the hurricane.

We are proud Houstonians, but what Harvey showed was that we were also proud citizens and very, very human. So Houston, let's take this opportunity to remember Harvey not only for what it took from us but also what we gained from it.

Let's show that we remember and have felt the pain of being left with nothing and feeling broken and helpless.

With our support, whether monetary or material, let us show the victims of Florence that as long as there is humanity, there is hope.

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