Les #baleines savaient // On Japan, whales and the nuclear age | Philip Hoare | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
What happened last Friday, deep beneath the surface of the Pacific, was invisible to us; as invisible as the radiation that is now drifting southwards from Fukushima reactors. But others conclude, as they did in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, that whales and dolphins – cetaceans – acted as advance warnings of what was to come. Forty-eight hours before the Christchurch earthquake, for instance, more than 100 pilot whales were stranded on New Zealand’s South Island. Then on 4 March, 50 melon-headed whales washed up on the eastern Kashima shore of Japan.
There is no scientific basis for such theories – although whales, like birds, probably do use the Earth’s electromagnetic field for navigation, and such abrupt alterations in it may well cause them to strand. (Indeed, the Maori who first colonised New Zealand probably followed migrating whales there from Polynesia, who themselves were following electromagnetic lines).