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How do teenage whales rebel? In the Strait of Gibraltar, by sinking ships


You've probably heard the reports. Since 2020, killer whales have been ramming yachts and other boats, which seems pretty aggressive, and they've sometimes managed to sink the boats. Are orcas fighting back against humans, who've been known for overfishing and polluting waterways, not to mention climate change?

A group of orca experts gathered in February to examine what might be behind these interactions that whales are having with boats, and they've come up with an answer. Apparently, the whales aren't being aggressive. They're just bored teenage orcas looking for something to do. Some of the report's authors told USA Today that the sea doesn't provide much stimulation for young killer whales, so pushing and breaking boat rudders can be a source of entertainment.

So what can boat owners do to avoid these rowdy teenagers? Well, they advise avoiding areas where these orcas are likely to be. They also suggest making the rudders look like jellyfish. Killer whales hate jellyfish. And if all else fails, you may need to find a way to call their moms. How do you say, come get your kids, in whale language?


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Ayesha Rascoe
Ayesha Rascoe is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and the Saturday episodes of Up First. As host of the morning news magazine, she interviews news makers, entertainers, politicians and more about the stories that everyone is talking about or that everyone should be talking about.