Narwhals – The Unicorn of the Sea
My senior year of high school I took a class called Astronomy/Oceanography. It changed my life. One semester was dedicated to the study of the sky, and yeah, it was pretty cool, but stars are so five million light years ago. The second glorious half of the year we focused on Oceanography, which instantly re-ignited my childhood dreams of becoming a marine biologist. After class I would impress (annoy) my friends with fun facts about various sea marvels like the giant squid…but that tale is for another day. Unfortunately my life path did not lead to a career in marine science (eff you AP Biology) but I have never forgotten my love for Poseidon’s kingdom.
Despite my vast knowledge of all things under the sea, I am ashamed to admit that until about a year ago, I did not know that narwhals were a real thing. I thought they only existed in the magical world of make believe, and the movie Elf. Turns out, THEY’RE REAL!!!
They are, in fact, a type of whale, and their tusks are actually teeth that protrude through the upper lip. The big ivory tooth is present primarily in males and can reach up to eight feet in length! Back in the olden days their tusks were sold for on the black market as unicorn horns for magical potions and whatnot. Narwhals are still hunted for their valuable ivory face horns, but fools know better than to believe that unicorn mumbo jumbo. I was going to tell you some more facts about the narwhal, but I mostly just wanted to spread the word of their existence and leave you with this:
Photos from: Machoroboraza’s flickr, Paul Nicklen on i.telegraph.co.uk, artofobama.com