the crone

opening the door to ideas

Whales. Poor whales.

Poor dead sperm whales, to be specific.

Six of them have beached themselves on the east shores of the UK over the last few weeks.

I don’t have any theories as to why they washed up. They were still alive (well, at first) so it wasn’t something as basic as their mighty corpses being driven in by tidal action.

And they arrived in twos and singles.

Mass suicide? Disease? Environmental issues? Whale SatNav failure?

Even the experts don’t really know for sure.


Seeing that huge mountain of animal stuck heavily in our dry alien landscape – the sheer size, the fleshiness, the Whale Wall BIGNESS – made me think.

If primitive man had come across this massive gift on the beach, this natural and glorious largesse, might he not see it as a Blessing from the God(s)?

A bloody miracle, like whale manna from heaven.


I can just imagine the Chief Magic Man/Priest taking the credit for interceding with the gods.

I can speculate how the important bits like the liver went to the most important members of the clan.

And I can ponder how every speck of internal organ, meat, oil, bone, would be respected — gleaned, harvested and used by the grateful people with happy glee.

This would be something to talk about around the fire for generations, until maybe the next rare occurrence of the god’s magnificent gift from the sea.

old whale_engraving.jpg

But what do we make of the same thing today?

Tragedy. Distress. Sadness.

We blame ourselves.

We think we must be doing something wrong.

The Whales’ deaths are our fault.

mans fault.jpg

Also, they are seen as a problem.

A public nuisance.

Apparently, the cost to the British taxpayer for the disposal of just three of the whale carcasses on the east coast amounted to £26,000.


So not a blessing, then. A misfortune.

That got me thinking.

When something like this happens – something that can’t immediately be explained – there is a tendency to blame ourselves.

“Oh no! It must be something we are doing wrong.”

But back then, when we were struggling for survival through a cold northern winter, we might have thanked the mysterious powers above.

“Oh yes! It must be something we are doing right.”


Fascinates me.

whale mouth.jpg

Click on the link at the end of this sentence (not the pic) for poignant thought-provoking aerial footage of the Beached whales


There are a few theories on Why Do Whales Get Stranded? This link will take you there. Warning – this does have sad scenes of the dead and dying whales.

And here’s a time lapse of two of the whales being removed. It is a whale of a job

stranded whale.jpg




7 thoughts on “Whales: Perspective

  1. Interesting. I like your thoughts on the matter.
    Last I heard was that the noise from large ships could be messing up their communication between each other. It’d be typical of us humans to cause something like those beachings, but who knows? Maybe they just couldn’t be arsed swimming any longer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jacqueline S says:

      Yes, I heard sonar was a possible theory, plus the ‘shallow waters’ of the north sea which confuses their navigation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stacy Moore says:

    Oh, so sad. Those huge, intelligent lives lost.

    What you said re: perspective makes me think of an area of New Mexico that’s covered with black volcanic rock—very otherworldly, with lava tunnels and the works. Many different Pueblos consider it sacred, because it’s so “set apart” from the normal landscape, but the Conquistadors called it “El Malpais”—the evil country or badlands—because their horses couldn’t cross it. Same at the Grand Canyon—the indigenous people showed it to the Spanish as this wonder, and the Spanish couldn’t see the point of it. Very practical people, those conquering types.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. jacqueline S says:

      And what a shame those conquering types never saw the wonders laid out before them! Paraphrasing my favourite Roald Dahl quote: ‘Those who don’t look for magic will never find it.’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jacqueline S says:

    Perspective is everything. Always amazes me that some people drown in an inch of water while others manage to survive for months in the open ocean. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theresagreen says:

    An interesting and thought provoking post. Large Sea Turtles are sometimes washed up onto beaches in Southern Spain which, if still alive or freshly dead would once have been bounty for local people, but now they are protected and police permission is supposed to be sought to touch them.


    1. jacqueline S says:

      That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing.


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