Unusual California Whale Sightings: Gray Whales, Blue Whales, Killer Whales Spotted

By Eric Zerkel
Published: January 2, 2014

Looking for a 'whale' of a good time? Then head down to southern California, where onlookers off the coast of Long Beach, Calif. are getting a rare peek at hundreds of the Cetaceans.

Whale sightings this time of year aren't uncommon near the nation's busiest port, but are usually reserved for Gray Whales, which make their annual south-seeking pilgrimage along the coast, feeding on the bounties of krill and other whale foodstuffs that coalesce at a drop-off point close to shore, NPR reports.

But in the last couple of weeks a slew of other Cetaceans—Blue Whales, and Humpback Whales, and Orca Whales, Oh My!—have joined a record-setting number of their Gray Whale brethren to put on a tour de force that has left scientists baffled, according to the Whittier Daily News. 

"The thing you would expect to see are gray whales migrating through," marine biologist Dave Bader told NPR. "And the fact that we're getting a chance to see at this time of year fin whales, blue whales, is really a mystery."

A lack of answers hasn't stopped scientists from speculating on potential causes of the whale-influx. According to International Science Times, climate change may be one culprit. Under that theory, scientists believe that shifting currents have sent a stream of squid and krill into the area, leading whales on a tail chase of sorts. 

The other explanation may lie in the revitalization of Long Beach's waters, NPR reports. Clean-up efforts in recent years may have helped turn around the bleak, polluted waters, potentially attracting the whales. 

Whatever the cause, if you're with in ear-shot of Long Beach, hurry on down for a chance to see one of the most spectacular sights nature has to offer. 

MORE: Alaska's Glaciers in Retreat

Muir Glacier and Inlet (1895)

Muir Glacier and Inlet (1895)

In the photo above, the west shoreline of Muir Inlet in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is shown as it appeared in 1895. Notice the lack of vegetation on the slopes of the mountains, and the glacier that stands more than 300 feet high. See the glacier as it looked in 2005 on the next page. (USGS/Bruce Molnia)

  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (1895)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (2005)
  • Plateau Glacier (1961)
  • Plateau Glacier (2003)
  • Bear Glacier (1920s)
  • Bear Glacier (2005)
  • Northwestern Glacier (1920s-1940s)
  • Northwestern Glacier (2005)
  • Northwestern Glacier (1909)
  • Northwestern Glacier (2004)
  • Pedersen Glacier (1920s-1940s)
  • Pedersen Glacier (2005)
  • Pedersen Glacier (1909)
  • Pedersen Glacier (2005)
  • Reid Glacier (1899)
  • Reid Glacier (2003)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (1890)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (2005)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (1896)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (2005)
  • Yale Glacier (1937)
  • Yale Glacier (2006)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (1880s-1890s)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (2005)
  • Muir Glacier (1941)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (1950)
  • Muir Glacier and Inlet (2004)
  • Carroll Glacier (1906)
  • Carroll Glacier (2004)
  • Muir Inlet (1976)
  • Muir Inlet (2003)
  • McCarty Glacier (1909)
  • McCarty Glacier (2004)
  • McCarty Glacier (1909)
  • McCarty Glacier (2004)
  • Muir and Adams Glaciers (1899)
  • Muir and Adams Glaciers (2003)
  • Yalik Glacier (1909)
  • Yalik Glacier (2004)
  • Denali National Park (1919)
  • Denali National Park (2004)
  • Northwestern Glacier (1920s-1940s)
  • Northwestern Glacier (2005)
  • Toboggan Glacier (1905)
  • Toboggan Glacier (2008)
  • Muir Inlet (1895)
  • Muir Inlet (2005)

 


Ad Blocker Enabled

Featured Blogs

Little Change to 99L in The Bahamas; 91L Headed Towards North Carolina

By Dr. Jeff Masters
August 27, 2016

There is little new to say about the saga of tropical wave Invest 99L, which continued to chug west-northwest at 10 mph through the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday morning towards South Florida and the Florida Keys. Satellite loops late Saturday morning showed little change in the storm’s organization and heavy thunderstorms since yesterday; 99L still lacked a well-organized surface circulation center and the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity was modest at best.

Hottest Reliably Measured Air Temperatures on Earth: PART TWO

By Christopher C. Burt
August 19, 2016

In my previous blog I discussed the various contenders for what might be the hottest reliably measured air temperatures on Earth. That blog focused on those that were most likely not reliable for various reasons. In this blog I will briefly list those that I believe to be the most reliably measured. This takes into account such factors as climatology (general and specific to the sites at time of observation), properly exposed instrumentation, and good correspondence with other temperature observations in the vicinity of the record-breaking site(s).

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.