Janice Boekhoff


3D computer rendering of a Narwhal

How many of your out there have seen the Sprint commercial with the cartoon characters singing about Narwhals? If you haven’t (and actually want to), click here, but be warned—the song may not leave your head the entire day. It goes something like this:

Narwhals, Narwhals swimming in the ocean

Narwhals, Narwhals causing a commotion, because they are so awesome

Narwhals, Narwhals pretty big and pretty white, can beat a polar bear in a fight

Weird, huh? I watched it the other day with my 11-year-old son and he went nuts for the song. He looked at me and said, “You know a Narwhal is a real thing, right?”

Uh, actually, no I didn’t know that and it stinks when your kid is smarter than you, but don’t tell him I said that. So, of course, I had to go look it up. And I’m glad I did because these guys are seriously one of God’s most amazing creatures. The above picture is just a computer rendering, but the real thing is awe inspiring. Please, please, please click here to see the pictures taken by Paul Nicklen from National Geographic. They are stunning.

A Narwhal is actually a type of whale with a bony protrusion coming out of its head. Because of the protrusion, which can get up to 10 feet long, it’s sometimes called the Unicorn of the Sea. This tusk is actually an enlarged tooth with millions of nerve endings. Most males develop tusks after the first year of life when it starts to grow outward, twisting in a counter clockwise direction and leaving a hollow interior. This is a sensory organ, not an instrument for breaking through the ice, as I first thought.

They live in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia where ice is prevalent. They eat halibut, cod, squid and shrimp and can spend up to five months below the ice, breathing through the cracks.

You might notice the Narwhals in the commercial are white, which is the color for old Narwhals. They are born blue-gray, juveniles are blue-black and adults are a mottled gray. The name Narwhal means “corpse whale” in Old Norse, perhaps a reflection of its skin color.

These majestic animals weigh up to 4,200 pounds and can grow as long as 17 feet in length. And they can also dive in the ocean a mile-and-a-half deep.

I never cease to be amazed by the creatures that God has created. How many more live in the oceans that we’ve never seen? They say it’s the final frontier.


Reference: http://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/unicorn-of-the-sea-narwhal-facts

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