A lone beluga whale took a vacation in London, England this week! The trip began with a leisurely swim up the Thames River around the Gravesland area about 30 miles east of London. The rare sight was captured on this video as well as many others posted on social media.
Helicopters from local news stations hovered above and local officials advised onlookers on boats to keep their distance. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation group was as surprised as anyone witnessing this incredible sighting.
Beluga whales are more commonly found in the Arctic. Churchill, Manitoba is a prime destination for beluga whale wildlife adventures.
Belugas at the back of the zodiac in the Churchill River in Churchill, Manitoba. Stephanie Fernandez photo.
“Beluga whales inhabit cold, Arctic waters off Greenland, Svalbard and in the Barents Sea,” the group said in a statement. “There have only been around 20 sightings of beluga whales off the U.K. coast previously, but these have occurred off Northumberland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.”
The last beluga whale spotted in the United Kingdom was off the coast of Northern Ireland three years ago,
Animal welfare organizations including the RSPCA are, “working with other agencies to monitor the situation” and have researchers on the scene to monitor the whale.
Humpback whale in the foreground and a massive iceberg in the distance. Melissa Scott photo.
Gotta love this phenomenal shot of a humpback whale tail fluke ad the iconic iceberg in the distance. Otherworldly! Greenland is very much like another planet and very worthy of preserving for the future . Join World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in their crusade to preserve the natural world for generations to come!
Mario Tama photographed these breathless Arctic photos from a Lockheed P-3 accompanying a NASA crew carrying out Operation Icebridge, an operation initiated to measure Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets. The stillness, colors and textures of the Arctic landscape left Tama speechless.
“It’s such an unexpected landscape,” he says. “It felt like we were flying over a different planet.”
NASA spends 10 weeks each spring in the Arctic when the ice levels are at their highest using a pair of laser altimeters to record ice elevation and three types of radars to measure snow – one of which reaches 300 feet down to bedrock. Flying shifts of up to 12 hours, the crew surveyed hundreds of miles of coastline along Ellesmere Island in Canada and Greenland. While researchers focused on computer screens, Tama focused his camera on a landscape without scale.
“I was looking at shapes and features that I had never seen in my life,” Tama says. “We’d drop through the clouds or take a turn into a valley, and I’d be sitting there trying to process, what am I looking at?”
Last year the National Snow and Ice Data Center NASA and operation IceBridge announced the lowest ice levels for the Arctic and Antarctic in the past 38 years.
“Changes in Arctic sea ice is seen as one of the primary indicators of climate change,” says Nathan Kurtz, project scientist for Operation IceBridge. “It’s been changing so rapidly—the Arctic has been changing and warming. What we’re trying to do is get a sense of what’s driving some of the bigger changes that we’re seeing.”
Tama’s stunning images remind us all of the majestic beauty of the north that is in jeopardy due to global warming!
Ellesmere Island ice field. NASA photo.
Ice pack near Ellesmere Island. NASA photo.
Ice along the Baffin Island coast Greenland. NASA photo.
NASA avionics technician surveys the Arctic landscape. NASA photo.
Glacier on Ellesmere Island. NASA photo.
Baffin coast ice field Greenland. NASA photo.
With the Churchill Northern lights season approaching in a few months, we want to show you what the season in Greenland produced in the form of aurora borealis. This shot from versatile Natural Habitat Adventures guide Eric Rock highlights the beautiful aurora travelers were exposed to in the remoteness of this wild region. Looking forward to another amazing northern lights season in Churchill beginning in January!
Aurora over the Greenland landscape. Eric Rock photo.
These stunning photos from Natural Habitat guide Melissa Scott in Greenland highlight the intense scenic beauty there. Greenland Base Camp is one of the newest wonders conceived by Natural Habitat Adventures. The Arctic experience is enjoyed while relaxing in incredibly comforting accommodations. Check out some of the incredible images by Melissa and dream of visiting this outer world within our world!
A humpback whale exposes his tail fluke in a Greenland fjiord. Melissa Scott photo.
A typical Greenland residence in Tasiliaq. Melissa Scott photo.
Ribbons of aurora in Greenland. Melissa Scott photo.
Giant iceberg off the coast of Greenland. Melissa Scott photo.
Magnificent northern lights over a Greenland inlet, Greenland. Melissa Scott photo.
Exploring the fjiords of Greenland with Natural Habitat Adventures. Melissa Scott photo.
Kayaking in front of Natural Habitat base camp. Melissa Scott photo.
A northern fulmar glides across a fjiord in Greenland. Melissa Scott photo.
Aurora borealis over the town of Tasiliaq, Greenland.