Science Saturday: Blubber-Mongers
Much like our own world, the world of Chronsylvania is full of strange natural phenomena. Every week we'll highlight an article that explores the odd, and very real, scientific properties of our universe. We'll also leave you with a writing/drawing prompt based on the article to get your creative juices flowing.
America, we have officially been invaded.
This is no hyberbolic, doomsday exaggeration (like our post about dark matter a few weeks back). No, our shores have in fact been breached by a drove of intelligent creatures that weigh up to four tons each. These beasts have dug their trenches, set up their nests, and claimed Drakes Beach in California's Point Reyes National Seashore as their own. And worst of all, The United States government has fully surrendered this photogenic piece of American parkland to these invaders, allowing them to stay for as long as they desire.
Where is your outrage, America? Our borders are under siege by a horde of vile, insipid, demonic blubber-mongers and you sit by and...and...
Okay, with faces like that, maybe we should let them stay awhile.
This week’s article from Smithsonian.com by Brigit Kats (@BrigitKatz on Twitter) relates the story of how a group of over 100 elephant seals took advantage of the recent government shut down to set up camp on Drakes Beach. Wildlife workers typically shoo the seals away with noisy tarps, but when the government shut down a few weeks ago, those workers were furloughed, leaving the beaches defenseless and ripe for invasion.
Despite the fact that the shutdown has ended, park operators have no plans to force the seals to leave. Many of the elephant seals are mothers who have given birth to pups on Drakes Beach, and forcing them to leave could disrupt the pups' growth at a critical time in their development.
Which gets me wondering about who really owns this planet. So often we hear about humanity's destructive expansion into natural habitats and the horrific results that follow: food webs are disrupted, a variety of species experience population declines, and in the worst cases, extinction. But every now and then, we humans decide to cede a little bit of our glut of land to creatures who have just as much right to it as we do.
It's good to know that as a species, at least every now and then, we still know how to share.
Creative Prompt: You've just come home from a long day of work/school and all you want to do is get some grub, flop on the couch, and pass out. You get the door open and are heading for the fridge when you hear a strange noise coming from the living room. You carefully peak your head around the corner only to find that you home has been completely overrun by a pack of wild ____________.
(Fill in the blank with an animal of your choice. If you're having a hard time thinking of one, may I suggest elephant seals?)
Write about or draw the scene that follows your discovery of this home invasion.
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Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next Wednesday with a brand new page.