metal music to prevent orcas from attacking: After worrying about killer whale attacks on the boats, the sailors return to fighting the orcas in a surprising way: by playing heavy metal music to scare them.
Florian Roach, a German sailor who works on a catamaran off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, told The New York Times that he had been searching online sailing forums for ideas on how to stop the attacks.
He read that blasting heavy metal from underwater speakers might help ward off killer whale attacks, and even found a collaborative Spotify playlist made just for that: “Metal for Orcas.”
The playlist includes songs like “Blood of Power”, “Infinite Terror”, “Stretched and Swallowed” and “Very Sadistic”.
A spate of killer whale attacks – dubbed the ‘orca wars’ by some on social media – has seen pods of marine mammals attack boats off the coast of Portugal and near the Strait of Gibraltar.
Earlier this year, attacks were happening at a rate of about once a day, according to researcher Rui Alves, who collects data on the attacks.
His website, orca. pt, said that by October, things seemed to have calmed down a bit, but there were still seven recorded attacks along the coasts of Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, and southern Spain.
Researchers don’t know exactly why this happens, but there are two main hypotheses. The first is that killer whales—highly intelligent and social creatures—have invented a new fashion, something younger members of orca pods have been known to do.
For Rutsch, the use of music seems to have had little effect. He and his crew tried it in November, but the orcas kept attacking the rudder of his boat, knocking out the rudder.
Roach’s boat had to be towed by the Spanish authorities who came to rescue him.
It seems that the orca wars are not over yet.