It is our pleasure to announce that the orcas are at it again. After gaining notoriety for their seemingly increased attacks on ships heading into the summer (a few of which actually sunk), vessels have reportedly turned to unconventional methods to ward off the aggressive whales. Unfortunately, for the crews, those methods aren’t working.
According to HuffPost, a catamaran off the Strait of Gibaltrar attempted to scare away a pod of orcas by using heavy metal music. Despite using a specially designed playlist called “Metal for Orcas,” the metal only amped up the aquatic mammals. To the sound of thrashing riffs and guttural vocals, the orcas made a beeline for the rudder and wrecked the crap out of it, making the ship “impossible to steer.”
Turns out, blasting metal music in the water is a terrible idea.
“Initially, the playing of loud sounds underwater might mask the signature sounds of sailboats — but ultimately, the whales would catch on and use it to more easily locate vessels playing it,” marine mammal researcher Andrew Trite told Insider. On top of making it easy for the orcas to find ships (and their rudders), weaponizing sound is just a bad idea all around in regards to marine life. If the music is loud enough, it can permanently damage the hearing of nearby creatures.
“The biggest problem with blasting music underwater of any kind is that it is ultimately just adding more noise pollution to the ocean, which can have detrimental effects on other marine life,” Trite said.
So there you have it. Do not play Metallica at orcas unless you want them to use your boat for a mosh pit, which they will.