An Icebreaker Playing Classical Music Saved 2,000 Beluga Whales From Certain Death In 1985

An Icebreaker Playing Classical Music Saved 2,000 Beluga Whales From Certain Death In 1985

They say music is the language of the soul, an original soundtrack to classical music that saved the lives of about 2,000 beluga whales on the Chukchi Peninsula in East Asia. Here, in 1985, a large herd of beluga whales spotted the local inhabitants; no doubt, these animals were initially a rich source of nutrition for the community.

However, it soon became clear that not everything was right, as climate change created a 4 km (2.5 mile) long thick ice that stood between the whale’s air hole and the open sea. They could not swim this distance without running out of oxygen, and if there were so few air holes for so many animals, it should have taken clear action to survive. When the inhabitants waited for a miracle, they fed the animals with frozen fish and dug ice to maintain air holes. However, with the onset of winter and worsening of conditions, this option will soon be removed, sealing the fate of the whale beneath a dense layer of ice.

As luck would have it, Russia had just treated itself to a Finnish icebreaker, the largest and most powerful its time. These ships do the same as tin, at higher altitudes where they carved through dense ice where ordinary boats cannot navigate. One of its onboard features is the diesel-electric power plant, which was one of the most powerful of any ship used at the time. Russia listed Moskva on a rescue mission to save Belugas, but they need to act quickly if they released on time. When they arrived, the situation was worse than they realized and the mission called by the ship’s captain.

Everything seemed to be lost until driven by the sight of so many destructive whales; the crew decided they should act. As they began to plow the ice, helicopters were trying to keep the still alive and catching fish. It took several days to make the route on the animal path but in the end Moskva made it.

Unfortunately, tired and disgusting whales not shaken by the ship and cannot be persuaded to follow the ship in open water. The crewmember gave an unusual suggestion that the music could turn the rescue mission around, as they heard whales react to the music. With the brevity of the options, Moskva temporarily became the speaker because it persuaded all kinds of music behind the ice. It was classical that proved to be the most effective beluga delirium, which led them to arrive on the boat to investigate the tune, and so Moskva began to work continuously from their ice gel to the pods. “Our strategy is: we back up, then go up the ice again, make a pass and wait,” Captain Kovalenko said on the radio transmission. “We repeat this several times. . . belugas begin to ‘understand’ our motives and follow the icebreaker. Thus, we move miles and miles away.”

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