A Russian diver – not a scientist, as first reported – decided to test a theory that artificial materials used for wetsuits were repellant to Beluga Whales … the problem was that to test this theory, you needed to get naked with the mammals – in the freezing waters of the Arctic …
Her name is Natalia Avseenko.
She decided to work with at whales sans wetsuit, relying upon (as reported) her expertise in yoga and meditation to help her survive in an environment that can be lethal to a human body within five minutes …
… she remained in the water over ten minutes …
… pretty amazing … and pretty cool, pun notwithstanding …
A semi-informative video found here.
Of course, there is a downside to the story. From wikileaks:
“An area of the sea is enclosed to stop whales and dolphins getting out and instructors tame the mammals before they are transported to dolphinariums around the world — a practice many animal conservationists consider cruel.”
That’s right. These are animals that are eventually going to end up in captivity. And so, then, perhaps the photos of her swimming in freezing, instant-hypothemic water lose a touch of their magic and – for lack of a better term – purity.
It is interesting how the romance and imagination of an image can be reduced by the awareness of context.
Yet this remains: the photos are beautiful.
And the storyteller in me thrills of the thought of her adventure, and the very unique tale she brings back to tell …
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