According to a recent find, scientists have finally cracked down the mystery behind the suspicious activity of bowhead whales under the deep waters of Canada’s Arctic. They have found out that these bowhead whales use big rocks or boulders to rub their back in order exfoliate as part of their annual pamper regime. This odd behavior was frequently seen by researchers, intuit people, and many whalers for centuries but none could ever come to a definite conclusion about this strange behavior of Bowhead whales. And finally, the researchers have confirmed that the bowhead whales come frequently to the Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, Canada during summers to exfoliate by rubbing their skin against large rocks or boulders.

The scientists were able to discover all these things with the help of a drone camera that took aerial pictures of 81 bowhead whales and videos of 4 bowhead whales. The researchers informed that in the video they saw one bowhead whale rubbing its skin on a large rock in Brown Harbour for at least eight minutes without a break and then other bowheads proceeded towards the boulders afterward. Sarah Fortune, a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia, Canada carried out the research along with her colleagues. She said, “This was an incidental observation. We were there to document their prey and feeding behavior, but we noticed some strange behavior near the shore.” She told that their team saw very clearly that whales were taking turns and rubbing their bodies on those huge rocks. Some were found bumping against each other.

According to the research team, these bowhead whales come to Arctic’s Cumberland Sound region during summer because the warmer coastal waters help them facilitate molting or exfoliation. Earlier, in 2014, a group of researchers traced a small group of strange and odd looking Bowhead whales in a bay at the northeastern course of Canada. They found out that the skin of those bowhead whales looked splotchy and mottled and was filled with unusual scratches. Their dark gray back had loose skins. They were constantly rolling on their backs and sides and lifting their flippers and tail out of the water. At that time they doubted this strange behavior of Bowhead whales and thought that these whales wouldn’t come so frequently to warmer waters just for feeding. And after 2 years when they again returned back to the Cumberland Sound area to study about Bowhead whales prey and feeding behavior, they again found out this strange behavior of whales across the huge boulders.

Through the DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone camera, they took still images as well as videos of those suspicious whales and confirmed that the bowhead whales come to Arctic region frequently during summer to rub their skin and exfoliate. Hence, the latest research successfully uncovered the age-old mystery behind the odd and strange behavior of those big bowhead whales beneath the waters across the seabed. Bowhead whales are generally 50-60 feet long and can live up to 200 years, thus making them one of the longest living marine mammals of the planet.


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