I’ve let you down. You rely on me for the latest news in animals, and I have been negligent in my duty in this regard. Whatever do I mean? I mean this.
Yes, the beluga whale, that white whale that’s not really a whale, is seeking to learn human speech. Not since the orangutan pursued development of its own nuclear fissile material has an animal so overreached into the realm of man.
What is the beluga whale’s endgame? Will it next communicate a list of demands? Does it hope to achieve equal protection under the law? Does it just want to talk about Downton Abbey with white humans (the only other creatures white enough to appreciate it)? The beluga whale that achieved this feat is named NOC, which seems to imply he is either a rapper or some kind of boring organization. Perhaps the beluga whale is seeking to break into music or Washington lobbying. Maybe the beluga whale is just mocking us, “This is what YOU sound like” style.
The beluga whale lives in the seas of the Arctic, and it has the blubber to do it. That’s right; its fat is a special power. When it eats an entire thing of gummies, it is growing more powerful.
Then there’s the human speech thing. And it can detect when deadly gases fill a mine.
Unfortunately, the way it detects deadly gases in mines is by being the first to die from them. In olde tymmes, Eskimos would bring beluga whales along to their underwater mines as a sort of alarm system. This is how Eskimos were able to unearth hundreds of different kinds of precious snows, and why the beluga is known as the sea canary.
Number of legs
A clarification (on names and familial relations)
The beluga whale is neither a whale, nor a beluga. A beluga is a dumb sturgeon that lives in a completely different part of the world. A whale is a big wet giant. The beluga whale is more closely related to the dolphin than either of these creatures. It is also related to Jeopardy! champion and America’s sweetheart Ken Jennings, but much more distantly.
Before hunting of the beluga whale was outlawed, deepsea snow mining wasn’t the only purpose for which mankind was killing it. Whalers (or, more accurately, quasi-dolphineers) harvested the beluga whale’s natural oils to lubricate their clockwork machines. Its tooth enamel was a key component in the aglets on the ends of shoelaces. Its cured skin could be used as machine belts for their industrial toothbrush mills and as harnesses for their advanced shame buttresses (steam-powered exoskeletons designed to hide the true shape of their weird Victorian bodies). And of course, beluga eyeball soup was long considered a delicacy. Today you can only get a knockoff using eyeballs from the beluga the dumb sturgeon.
What if it fought a bear?
The beluga would just try to make friends with it and pretty soon the bear’s enjoying all the soup it wants – which is to say two bowls.
Is it noble?
I should note that my nobility rating is pending us figuring out just what the beluga whale’s intentions are in its endeavors to obtain human language. For now, we will assume its friendly demeanor is genuine. And hey, if it does turn out to be a threat, we can always kill it and get some great stuff out of it.
No, not THAT “white whale.”
Plus, it’s one-eighth Cherokee, so… okay, yeah, it’s still white.