After an almost complete absence for over half a century, Antarctic blue whales are returning in numbers to the waters surrounding South Georgia island in the south Atlantic. An international team led by Susannah Calderan of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) has collected 58 sightings of the giant cetaceans as well as acoustic soundings of their presence.
One of the great tragedies of the 19th and 20th centuries was the near extinction of the blue whale population throughout the world’s oceans. Once almost impossible to hunt, the invention of steam launches and the harpoon gun firing harpoons tipped with explosive heads resulted in the catch of an estimated 382,595 of the largest creature ever to inhabit the Earth, though this number may be higher due to unreliable counts by the USSR on its catch.
Learn more about blue whales by reading this article on the top 7 facts on these beautiful creatures!