Orcas

Orcas, killer whales, have occasionally attacked (and in a few cases killed) their trainers, but to the best of my information, no human being has ever been eaten by an orca.

Why the fuck not? Are we not good enough for them?

This also implies that no orca has ever eaten a black person. There can be only one explanation.

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53 Responses to Orcas

  1. Polymath says:

    They’re smart. They know what humans are capable of. Sounds like a policy to me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is this about the almost none existing white on black rape? Lol

  3. mutecypher says:

    The explanation is that we all taste the same under the skin?

  4. ziel says:

    Well seals are their favorite meal, along with otters, so they prefer marine mammals, but not human beings, both light and dark, so it can’t be the color.
    I can’t even imagine where this one is going – I’m guessing some sci-fi reference that I wouldn’t have a clue about.

  5. mapman says:

    Similarly, orcas regularly attack other dolphins and porpoises but never eat them. Maybe they prefer how fish tastes.

    • gcochran9 says:

      [The killer whale’s stomach was vast. But even seasoned whale anatomist Daniel Friedrich Eschricht was surprised by what he found inside. No sooner had he cut through the thick intestinal wall, than out slithered five or six dead seals, some large, some small, their fleshy bodies intertwined.

      This was just the start. It seemed to Eschricht that each emerging corpse “would disclose several new ones more deeply concealed”. Some of these were fresh, most were half-digested, others in pieces. The appearance of what looked like coins caused considerable excitement amongst the crowd of onlookers assembled on the beach, until Eschricht identified them as “the epiphyses of the vertebral bodies of young common porpoises”.

      In order to make sense of what was what, Eschricht laid out the macerated remains on the ground. In total, there were 27 large mammals: 13 common porpoises and 14 seals. The killer whale’s intestine stretched to 54 metres, more than eight times the length of the animal itself. At the end of a day of epic flensing, “having spent so many hours in the immediate neighbourhood of the putrid carcass”, Eschricht was relieved to spend a few days enjoying “the rare hospitality” of the wealthy local landowner Ernst Benzon. ]

  6. George says:

    I imagine there aren’t that many black orca trainers. Not sure why they don’t like to munch on the white trainers, though. Maybe they are not hungry? But those are two explanations…

  7. Space Ghost says:

    That’s because black people are smart enough not to go in the water with an Orca. And also they can’t swim.

  8. MawBTS says:

    <

    blockquote>Orcas, killer whales, have occasionally attacked (and in a few cases killed) their trainers, but to the best of my information, no human being has ever been eaten by an orca.

    Semi-serious question: do they ever try to rape their trainers?

    In the 60s there was a TV show called Flipper, about a bottlenose dolphin that helps a family. Although the dolphin was supposed to be male, they ended up using female dolphins, because the male dolphins would become (visibly) sexually aroused and would attempt to mate with the actresses. Obviously, that looked bad on camera. Though maybe they could have worked it in to the story. “Hey, kids! Flipper is a special dolphin, born with a magical extra fin!”

  9. Jerome says:

    I have read that orcas hunted Eskimos by crashing through the ice and seizing them. But that may be fanciful.

  10. AppSocRes says:

    So orcas discriminate. Nu?

  11. Because it’s rare and the evidence is shit.

  12. Ursiform says:

    Don’t most trainers wear black wet suits? Probably teaches orcas that black, human-shaped creatures are chewy and taste bad …

  13. Steven Wilson says:

    Usually we talk about le petit mort after sex, but somehow we went from death to sex with dolphins. That may be the late night show at SeaWorld.

  14. Smithie says:

    I recall a book “In the Land of the White Death” which cast some aspersions on them, though not in a technical way of anyone actually being eaten – more that they had a sort of glint in their distant eyes.

  15. skid says:

    Hey, I sent out a survey to all humans who had been killed and eaten by a killer whale, and no one returned my survey. Thus, no humans have ever been eaten. Science for the win.

  16. A friend recently noted that Orcas’ lives consist of turbomurder, often for fun, and shagging, also for fun. Not a bad gig.

    Perhaps the story of Old Tom of Eden, Australi is relevant here?

  17. Rum says:

    Seriously, no smart predator attacks a large-ish animal that it does not understand intimately. It is too dangerous and not worth it for the sake of a single meal. If we swam with them constantly, this might change in ways we would not like.
    Remember; an apex predator with an injury is instantly demoted.

  18. AttilaTheOrca says:

    The old saw that ‘orcas have never eaten humans’ is most likely urban legend.

    Yeah, it doesn’t appear that they ever hunted humans regularly, unlike say big cats, in our pre-history — but I fail to see why a orca wouldn’t eat a human if it actually felt like it.

    After all, they’re fiendishly clever in taking seals off of dry sand and ice floes.

  19. engleberg says:

    Niven thought the lack of evidence for dolphins attacking humans was a sign of intelligence. He argued in the alternative: either they were nice and smart and know we are sentient and are revolted by the concept of a sentient food animal, Hitler would gag at that; or they were nasty and smart and avoided ever getting caught.

    My dad liked to say humans stink so bad no self-respecting predator will eat us if he can get anything else.

  20. John Massey says:

    I suspect the explanation is much more mundane – it just turns out that orcas and dolphins are particularly discerning and picky eaters, and neither see humans as prey animals that they are interested in eating. Some orca populations eat only fish; other populations eat only seals and smaller cetaceans. Neither is likely to see a human as a prey animal, although occasionally a mistake in identification could happen (the occasional attack on an Eskimo by bursting through the ice could be in the “mistaken for a seal” category, if those stories are not just apocryphal – that is one of the seal-hunting strategies that orcas have been seen using). Another factor may be that orcas frequent waters that are too cold for sane humans to try to swim in. Plenty of humans are dumb enough to go out in small boats and kayaks to make pests of themselves to pods of orcas, but there is no evidence of orcas attacking them, ramming boats or anything like that, although physically they easily could.

    Behaviour in captivity doesn’t count. Lots of animal behaviour observed in captive animals doesn’t happen in the wild. It’s hardly surprising that a captive orca kept in a small pen and tormented daily by a trainer might undergo some kind of mental aberration and attack the trainer, and the occasional fatality from that is inevitable, given their size and armament.

    There have been reported cases of wild dolphins attacking humans, although they are certainly not common – ramming attacks not involving killing or eating them. No idea what prompts those – they are too rare to form the basis for any hypothesis to be developed, I think.

    As for black people, I’ve never seen a black trainer of orcas and dolphins, so it’s likely just a sampling issue – not that I frequent oceanariums where captive orcas and dolphins are kept and taught to do crowd-entertaining tricks very much, mostly because I don’t think it’s cute, funny or entertaining. They are animals that should not be kept in captivity, period.

    • ziel says:

      The explanation for what? I mean, what exactly are we trying to explain. Is it why no orca has ever eaten a human? I don’t think that’s the puzzle that’s being posed here – it’s this cryptic addendum that I think is at issue:
      “This also implies that no orca has ever eaten a black person. There can be only one explanation.”

  21. Garr says:

    I remember reading somewhere that dolphins might think we’re baby dolphins — that’s why they’re nice to us. So maybe killer-whales think we’re baby killer-whales. Aren’t dolphins and killer-whales very closely related? Maybe we just give off a baby-dolphin/killer-whale vibe.

    • John Massey says:

      Killer whales and false killer whales (so-named because they are occasionally mistaken for orcas, not because they are not killers – they are just as predatory as orcas) are just very large species of dolphins.

      No idea about the theory, but I don’t look much like a baby dolphin. I doubt my echo signature looks like a baby dolphin either.

      My one close encounter with wild dolphins was when I was out snorkeling once, and suddenly saw two dorsal fins moving in parallel together and coming fast straight towards me. Underwater they just looked awfully big, dark and awesome. My mind was saying “Relax, they’re obviously dolphins, not sharks” but my central nervous system was screaming “Get the hell out of here!” No time for that, though, they were coming really fast. They swerved aside at the last minute and zoomed away again – just curious and taking a closer look at me, I think. Evidently I proved to be uninteresting to them.

      • Garr says:

        Maybe they see us as cute in the same way that they see their own babies as cute? Because of some similarity in our awkward splashy swimming style combined with hairless baby-dolphin-sized mammalness? Maybe they focus on eyes, and our eyes look like baby dolphin eyes to them?

        • Ursiform says:

          Eating things you don’t recognize carries risk. Unless pretty hungry, it makes sense to stick with what you know is good food.

          I seem to recall reading that different Orca pods in a similar areas sometimes focus on different foods. (Fish vs seals, for example.)

    • dearieme says:

      To what porpoise?

  22. helenahankart says:

    They probably want to shag us instead. Dolphins certainly enjoy doing so. Or maybe its a classic friendly dolphin effect (e.g. we just dont hear from those who Orcas choose to munch?) I’d bet on the sex thing though. Its usually sex when a behavior doesnt make sense

  23. dux.ie says:

    Orcas are picky eaters and very cultural (learning from the pack),

    https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/36957/why-do-orcas-eat-only-the-tongue-of-whales-liver-of-sharks-etc

    And human is simply not worth the efforts nutrition wise, not good enough for them,

    https://qz.com/951238/a-scientist-calculated-the-nutritional-value-of-a-human-being/

    Oh. These is also an International Treaty between Human and Orca for peaceful coexistence and co-operation 🙂

    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2016/10/law-tongue-killer-whales-eden-australia/

    “””The Law of the Tongue: The Deal Between the Orcas and Whalers “””

    If given enough time and the continual of non-mechanical whale hunting, orcas might evolve to be like hunting dogs for human. But domestic dogs do eat human if given the chance.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/07/would_your_dog_eat_your_dead_body.html

  24. pam32 says:

    Do Orcas eat other primates?

  25. Stephen W says:

    Compared to a seals humans are lean and bony with a chewy bad tasting wrapper. And as Orcas have sonar they can see that. Maybe if the morbidly obese went swimming in the ocean more the results would be different, but after too much swimming the human would not be morbidly obese anymore.

    Sharks have simpler senses and brains so are more likely to munch on a human just because it looks living.

    Humans do make up for there bony bodies somewhat by being easier to catch. But as orcas have intelligence and social structure, eating crappy food may negatively impact your social status in your pod.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I do tend to pre-judge people who frequent McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

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