The Mysterious "Falling" Place

TranquilpenStarred Page By Tranquilpen, 30th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Mammals

Anana has laboriously been keeping afloat since sunset, weakened, by the expended energy, of the long swim from Georgia to the cold krill rich waters on the fringes of the Gulf of Maine. She is the last 100 year old Northern Right Whale, with a body weight of 75 tons and an overall length of 70 ft. , 12 feet longer than an average passenger bus.

1. Anana's Arrival At Whale Falling Place

Her body, scarred with dozens of welts and deep gashes, telltale signs of having been caught up many times over the years, in fishing lines and lobster pot rigs, carelessly left by the man creatures. Her kind feeds, on the abundant krill found there during early fall and winter. She had been one of the lucky ones, having managed to free herself every time after being caught in these treacherous traps but not without having first endured excruciating pain and having had to keep a watchful eye on marauding sharks, and prowling orka’s attracted by the blood scent, oozing from her gaping wounds often for several days and nights.

2. Like Wolves They Circle For The Kill


Sharks can smell blood from many miles away, and will follow the scent like bloodhounds and then circle around the herd and the stricken animal, loitering just out of reach, waiting for it or the herd to lower their guard for just a moment, when like a bolt of lightning, they strike, usually from behind, ripping away huge chunks of flesh from the crippled, weakened animal’s body. Relentlessly they lunge, in packs, ripping and tearing away at the abundant mass of oil rich blubber , the very substance that has driven them to the edge of extinction, being hunted by unscrupulous fishermen through all the ages. She had witnessed several such brutal man creature attacks on some of her less fortunate peers. Members of the herd usually rally around, forming a protective barrier against shark and orka attacks.

A whale’s only defense against the razor sharp teeth, of a Bull shark or Great white, is its huge, Leviathanic size. an average adult Northern Right whale weighing in at a massive seventy tons, against which the sharks are usually no match. Sharks are among the most tenacious of scavengers on the planet, and will hang around for days waiting for an opportune moment, at which to pounce. Anana, which is the Inuit name for beautiful one, as she is called, having been born with a larger than normal callositie, the name for the unique hard patch of skin adorning the top of the head of a Right whale, its white color, derived from the thousands of whale-lice living on its surface.Callosities and the absence of a dorsal or back fin are characteristics of both the Nothern and Southern Right whales

3. Entangled In Fishing Gear

She had witnessed the demise of many of her brothers and sisters in this way. Brutal though it seems, death is usually swift when dying by nature’s way. For some others, dying at the hands of the Man creatures, death only comes after a gigantic and utterly exhausting struggle, trying to free itself from the harpoon or attempting to become disentangled from the many lines of fishing gear and nets in which they were caught, eventually sinking, entangled and bleeding from dozens of deep gashes, down to the ocean floor where they drown, unable to rise up to the surface and the vital life giving air.

4. Falling Place Of The Northern Right Whale

The long swim to their secret Falling Place near the Gulf of Maine is the final gathering place of her clan The Northern Right whale. It is called the falling place, for "whale fall" is what they call a Right whale's final death dive, a suicidal ritual of a last exhale emitted through their double blow holes, a backward roll and an almost languid spiraling downward, through the depths, and finally coming to rest on the sandy ocean floor. The atmospheric pressure of the water at these depths of between eight hundred to a thousand feet is sufficient to buckle the steel hull of some modern day submarines. When this gigantic pressure is brought to bear against the aging, brittle ribcage of one hundred summers, it becomes just too much for the whale to bear and stops the already weakened, massive heart of this once magnificent creature, making it oblivious of the last few feet of its final descent to the darkened ocean floor below. Occasionally a few are still alive at that great depth, and a sudden involuntary inhalation attempt causes the giant lungs to rupture and tear and death mercifully follows instantly.

5. The Sighting Of Ublarpassik,The Sun God

The herd of youngsters keeping vigil over Anana, a kind of pre death wake, occasionally brushing her flanks affectionately, with their flukes, reassuring her of their Argus-eyed watch over her, as she awaits the approaching dawn and to gaze one last time upon the face of Ublarpassik,God The Rising Sun.

Falling place is their sacred sanctuary, much like a Mecca for dying whales. Here for millenia, they have hidden from the man creatures, and to this day it is so. Here the krill soup is thick and shallow, and the herd can rapidly fatten and build up their winter reserves, scooping up endless quantities of their daily average requirement of two and a half tons of krill, but Anana will not be feasting with the rest of the Clan. For In this state of preparation of falling, whales stop eating, a mysterious kind of ritualistic, self imposed fasting, which often lasts for days.

6. Courtship In The Gulf Of Maine

The Krill is for the remaining herd, whose numbers have dwindled so dramatically the past fifty years. They have made this special journey over many miles to this sacred place where, within the pristine and deep sub- Antarctic waters, where also, the young Northern right whales will mate. The mating dance called uaksarpok, consisting of flamboyant leaps through the air,

This dance has been performed here for thousands of generations The size of the mature male’s testicles usually grabs the female’s attention, Northern Right whales have the heaviest testes of any mammal, weighing in at nearly 2,000 pounds. The males rely on the amount of sperm they can produce to successfully mate with a female, rather than displays of aggression. Males don’t fight each other for the attention of a female like many animals do, neither, do they show off flashy colors like many birds, nor do they protect a territory to prove that they are dominant. Instead, they put their energy into sperm production in the hope of successfully mating with a female. But the females certainly don’t make it easy for the males.

Courtship occurs at the surface in what are termed Surface-Active Groups (SAG). “The female doesn’t know who is going to be a good mate SAGs test his lung capacity and strength. Females make it difficult in order to really test the males.” The female initiates the event by calling to males with a groan that resembles a cow mooing. The males swim to the female, eager to be the first to reach her. However, once they do reach her, the female rolls onto her back, keeping her genitals out of the water, all while swimming in large circles. But the males still have a chance; the female has to roll back over in order to breathe. “Copulation occurs every time she breathes, so mating opportunities for males appear perhaps 60 times an hour.The more sperm a male can release into the female, the better the probability that he will be the one to impregnate her.

Minutes after his own birth, Kappiatiatok,(Brave one), so named, after he fearlessly charged at an on coming Bull shark twice his own size. This morning he is the first to spot the rising orb of the Ublarpassik (Sun God.) He signals the restfully langouring herd with a sighting call and a spirited leap of joy, several feet into the air, and landing back in the water with a deafening splash. He is still quite young, 4 years, and weighing four and a half tons. He is per-destined to follow and protect the herd throughout his life, never mating outside of his herd. The young bulls share the task of rearing the young calves for two to three years, at which point the calves in turn, mate and continue the cycle. It is also here where many come, to find their final resting place

7. “Oh glorious Ublarpassic, Sun God of The Whales.


Anana, slowly opens her eyes, laboriously she gazes towards the glorious rising sun, which the Inuit call Ublarpassik, its dazzling rays now running along the mirror like surface of the waters of the Gulf of Maine and reflecting off her glistening skin. Silently she watches, mesmerized by this awesome vision.

For a single fleeting moment, she forgets the purpose of this visit to the Falling Place of the whales, and slaps her immense tail in an expression of youthful exuberance, at the fleeting memory of youth, so many summers ago. She had witnessed countless sunrises, spanning the full measure of time allotted to her species. Those years, albeit joyous ones, have now run their full course, with no regrets.

It is within the Creator's master plan, to continue the circle of life of every creature. For we are all nutjuitok , (stardust from the bright Polar star), minute particles of light energy, atomically joined together in a perfect Fibonaccic shape for brief moments in time, until we need to return to our original energy source and onward relocation into yet another magnificent face, shape or form with which to reflect God's omniscient countenance.

8. One Final "V" Shaped Blow

One final deep breath, a moment's pause as she drinks in the glory of the fully risen sun, which is fringed with a few wispy clouds signalling a calm day and windless on this, her special day then the final exhale through her twin blowholes, emitting a last, V shaped valorous discharge of carbon enriched brine into the crisp morning air, then a final lunge backwards and a headfirst dive into the deep blue water, to where her final resting place awaits her.

9. Anana's Last Dive


Her ample, sleek old body will remain on the sea bed amid the countless others who had managed to return to this hallowed whale cemetery, where she will be offering up her body as one last selfless, magnanimous act, to serve as a sub-merged mini Island of sustenance called Whale Fall, and a home to more than two thousand species of tiny deep sea creatures who together with the colonies of whale lice already inhabiting her callosities, will all be clinging to her body for their survival.

Epilogue


Anana’s Epoch.
In the dark and deep waters of the Gulf of Maine,
miles away from continental coastlines and tiny island reefs,
lies a secret winter sojourn, called Falling Place, that Man
Creature’s eyes have never seen.

Nor seldom even touched by the warm caress of Ublarpassik’s gaze.
Anana now lies, at rest at last, awaiting the loving touch of His hand,
to meat out yet again to her, another shape or form.

By: Andre’ G Hartslief


Author's Note:
This article was written as a result of two sources of inspiration, namely a hauntingly beautiful melody by Tol & Tol called "Antarctic Sunrise" as well as the Cop 17 talks dealing with the issues of climate change currently under way in Durban South Africa. The Right whale facts are true, with the exception of the fictional "Falling Place" which was derived at from the legendary "Elephant Graveyard" created by the author Sir Ryder Haggard who wrote about it in his books: "King Solomon's Mines" and "She". For a short time during spring, the Northern Right whales simply vanish in the cold waters of the North where they remain till fall. The exact location is a mystery. Dead whales sinking to the ocean floor are referred to as; "Whale Fall" The Inuit names are authentic .

ANTARCTIC SUNRISE By TOL & TOL

QUOTE:

:
“There are only about 450 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. Some scientists believe that these whales could be extinct in 200 years if birth rates continue to be low and accidents with ships and fishing gear continue. While deaths from ship strikes have declined, population growth is still relatively low. “Population rate and birth rate are two different things,” explained Scott Kraus, vice president of research at The New England Aquarium. “Population rate is all births minus all deaths.” Right now, the population rate is at one to two percent growth per year. Compared to the rate of the healthy right whale populations in the southern hemisphere, which are growing at six to seven percent a year, it looks as if the population in the north is barely growing.”

Source:: http://mainelandings.org/2011/07/12/right-whale-population-up-but-still-lagging/
Unless otherwise quoted, all pics are courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/

Write on Wikinut,com where your soul will soar.

Tags

Anana, Article Writing, Burial At Sea, Callosities, Clmate Change, Cop17, Cop17 South Africa, Falling Place, Global Warming, Gulf Of Maine, Inuit, Kapiataitok, Maine, New, Northern Right Whale, Nutjuitok, South Africa, Southern Right Whale, Tranquilpen, Tranquilpen Author, Uaksarpok, Ublarpassik, Whale, Whale Lice, Writing

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author avatar Tranquilpen
As Andre' Hartslief, I strongly believe, that In life, there are no justified resentments.”We the old legends will become relics and fade away, while new giants emerge in our world of sobering truths.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
1st Dec 2011 (#)

When a thing reaches to perfection, it returns to its origin. It escapes to the maximum until the nature it is time for it ascend, never to be attacked any more.
This also means it takes all the secrets along with her, secrets of experience and learning ripe from all that she has been through. All they get are few remanants that remind the youngsters and the Sun God that they used to exist.
Moral of the story create your own pathway and learn as much as you can from the world around you.

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author avatar Retired
1st Dec 2011 (#)

In Moby Dick, they show exactly what happened to the whales.
They even used the whale blubber to make lipsticks, mascara etc. which were coloured using lead bases. So she is useful even in death to provide the world of fashion with lipsticks and mascara to deck the women for beauty.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
2nd Dec 2011 (#)

Hello Aiyanna, thank you for enhancing my article, it is exactly what I was expecting, from my readers, a collaboration in celebration of nature. Could you perhaps also share some of your emotions experienced while reading this piece? I would welcome it. Thank you my friend.

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author avatar Sam Bralley
1st Dec 2011 (#)

Most interesting and masterfully told. Really enjoyed this and congrats on your well deserved star...

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author avatar Tranquilpen
2nd Dec 2011 (#)

Hello Sam, Thank you so much for reading and your kind remarks.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
1st Dec 2011 (#)

All I feel is such sadness and the brutality of man. Why should such a wonderful creature as the whale be born to suffer the cruelty and hatefulness of men?

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author avatar Tranquilpen
2nd Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you dear Ivy for expressing the emotions this article has evoked in you. After all, an article is nothing if it fails to illicit an emotion.

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author avatar Buzz
1st Dec 2011 (#)

A magnificent star page, my friend. Great read!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Hello Buzz, thank you for reading it my friend, thank you also for including me in your poem, I am deeply honored.

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author avatar richardpeeej
1st Dec 2011 (#)

Geat tory about Anana my friend..and a well deserved star page too for this one tranquilpen my good friend .

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author avatar Tranquilpen
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Hi Richard, I am so glad you enjoyed it my friend.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st Dec 2011 (#)

Wow! What a fantastic, flawlessly written, absorbing article. I'm blown away by your talent, Tranquilpen. Thank you.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Hi Steve, you flatter me my friend, I really enjoyed writing this piece and almost shed a tear doing the research work Hope you are well my friend, Merry Xmas to you Carol and your children

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author avatar Retired
1st Dec 2011 (#)

Super-star page--So well done! Bravo.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Rama Devi, Lovely to find you here my dear. I felt a bit unsure about placing it at first, with all the doom and gloom going around, however, I am very glad I did in the light of how warmly it was received. Seasons greetings to You and your family and may you keep us enthralled with your poetry in the new year:-)) x

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author avatar Ibolya Lőrincz
1st Dec 2011 (#)

A most moving story to open up men's eyes on what we are soon losing if we dont do something else against the destruction of nature. A real starpage, Tranquilpen. Congratulations,
Ibolya

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author avatar Tranquilpen
1st Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you one and all for reading this article. I will reply individually to all of you my dear friends. I have added the link to the incredible music above, just click on it please,Andre' A.K.A Tranquilpen

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author avatar Neha Dwivedi
3rd Dec 2011 (#)

You are right Andy gee ... these wonderful creatures are getting extinct because of our very greed and brutality..thanks for sharing such informative article ....

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author avatar Tranquilpen
3rd Dec 2011 (#)

Hello Geeta, So good of you to drop in, I'm so glad you enjoyed it my friend. I really do deeply believe that the core of decent, concerned people who write on and read the wikinut pages will cause a shift in the mindset of greedy men and women in our lifetimes, even as I write to you. Good has always triumphed over evil through all ages. Bless you and all of those like you, who are gracing this page with your wonderful comments XXX

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author avatar Delicia Powers
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Wonderful from start to end...

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author avatar Tranquilpen
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Your'e so very welcome dear friend, thank you for reading Delicia.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Tranquilpen: I came back to this page - it had stayed in my mind and I was glad I did re-read it. It is beautifully written with wonderful pictures and I realize that my mind became caught up in the sadness when I read, "dying at the hands of the Man creatures, death only comes after a gigantic and utterly exhausting struggle, trying to free itself from the harpoon", Then I saw that Arianna had written about the whale escaping to the maximum, until it is time for it to ascend, never to be attacked any more." This whole story is only appreciated to the full by looking at the big picture. I am so glad I didn't miss so much of its impact. Your comment: " I really do deeply believe that the core of decent, concerned people who write on and read the wikinut pages will cause a shift in the mindset of greedy men and women in our lifetimes.' This lifted my spirits
I wish I had spent more time on the article and thank you so much for a beautiful piece of work.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
6th Dec 2011 (#)

Hello Ivy,this is some fine collaboration on your part, thank you. It is a very worthy cause. I don't know if you are aware of the fact, that every time we write or search for something on the Internet, dozens of robots called spiders, are busy indexing and cross referencing the data. This is how they determine popularity levels of all online data, well every time you leave positive comments on something, you keep it "alive" or topical. Thank you again.

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author avatar Bridgitte Williams
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Fabulous post! :-)

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author avatar Tranquilpen
6th Dec 2011 (#)

Hi Bridgitte nice of you to drop in for a read my friend;-))

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author avatar Songbird B
28th Dec 2011 (#)

Andre, rarely have I read an article more moving or more beautifully written and illustrated than this..I was moved to tears by your amazing empathetic link, and your ability to touch my heart by such a fantastic article that leaves me breathless. You, my dear dear friend, are an amazingly talented writer...I cannot praise this enough..

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author avatar Tranquilpen
28th Dec 2011 (#)

Your words to to me are like Josh's song: "Wind beneath my wings." dear friend. Thank you so very, very much dear Beverley;-)) X GBY

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