So, yeah ok. We are leading up to Polar Day on Saturday, but I'm dedicating the week to the Arctic so we're totally allowed to talk about my favourite. Narwhals. Unicorns of the Sea. Magical creatures.
To a lot of us, the Arctic seems like this dark mysterious place that no one ever goes to. And for the most part that is correct. It spends a great deal of the year in darkness, which lends to it's mysterious reputation. What the heck does life do there during those frigid sunless days? Do they have secret underground dance parties? That's what I think is really up with hibernating animals! The bears play host and all the other animals pop in and out, getting their groove on, catching up on gossip and letting each other in on all the sweet spots for arctic berries.
But where were we... oh yeah, the magical North! I love the peacefulness of nature, even when all the creatures are chatting away, it never feels noisy and crowded. There's a cohesiveness to it. A unity. A simplicity and innocence to it. The North especially has that untouched, as Mother Nature created it feel. And no where else do you see a more grand example of life and rebirth. Most things literally die out when winter hits and then burst back to life at the first sign of spring. If you haven't watched the BBC's Frozen Planet, get on it. It's on Netflix so I just made it so easy for you! David Attenborough will take you through all the seasons (yes there is more than just winter) of both Poles. There are some seriously outrageous things living in the Arctic ocean. All these crazy and interesting creatures, on land, ice and in the ocean, are at risk right now because of the drastic changes in Arctic temperatures. This past January the North Pole recorded a +4º. IN JANUARY. I am aware that this is one of those freak El Nino years, but that is completely off the charts wrong. Even here in Toronto we have been having some intense temperature swings - the last week saw a temp difference of 52º within a 7 day period. Hm. I don't think our hibernating animals are having much of a dance party this winter. And Mr. Narwhal, well let's take a look at him and see what he thinks.
For sure the most magical of Arctic creatures is the elusive Narwhal. Apparently these guys are the hardest to spot, they are quite shy about strangers, which kind of makes me love them even more. Not that I don't love penguins, but they are total hams! Now, not everyone is familiar with the Narwhals which is partly why I wanted to showcase them today. The term "unicorn of the sea" is quite popular these days, but some people still think they are mythical creatures, not real animals. They are real. So very real. I have to admit I don't think I'd ever really heard of, or at least paid much attention to a Narwhal until I saw the movie Elf. You all totally know that part where Mr. Narwhal comes up to say Bye to Buddy... I love that scene. That was well over 10 years ago. So my love affair is strong with the Narwhal now! I would love to see one in real life, in fact it's right up at the top of my bucket list. But even if I never lay eyes on one, they'll always be special to me.
One of the things we can all do to ease the Arctic melt is to turn our thermostats down a couple of degrees and engage in some good ol' hygge (don't remember our last chat about hygge.. go back and read all about it here) Put on a nice cozy sweater, curl up with your hottie, but on those silly fuzzy slippers your mom got you and drink some hot chocolate!