Saturday, January 9, 2016

Magic Creatures on Silk - Humpback

The Humpback Whale

Until today there are 3 paintings in this little series Magic Creatures: Humpback, Nautilus and Sepia.

40" x 13" , silk, stitched

The world of the whales is the ocean – but how long still? The whale we know the most about is the Humpback whale. Nevertheless there are enough “unknown facts” which need to be de-coded.

Whales are mammals – no fish – and extremely intelligent, a social being with unbelievable skills and a very sophisticated communication. Did you know that they have dialects? And they can sing – at least various species and only the males. When you have heard them once underwater you will never forget this again!
I am not going to list all facts about humpbacks and other whales –  the Internet is full of information if you want to know more about these wonderful creatures.  I can only say that when I heard a humpback for the first time, diving on Maui, I could never forget that sound again and the fascination I feel for them.
Imagine that: these intelligent creatures are still hunted and killed, especially by countries which do not depend on the income of these killings at all due to their fortune, countries such as Norway, Iceland and Japan.

The ploys of the whaling lobby are incredible. Small and poor countries are bribed in order to buy their votes during the trade-offs  of the whaling commission and much more.
I feel sick continuously when I think about the greed and ignorance  of certain people, who sacrifice all and everything.
Nonetheless something amazing is happening again and again: although the whales seem to have something like a collective conscience and memory they are extremely gentle creatures, who forgive all those cruelties the human being is doing to them.  How else would you explain that specifically humpbacks are curious, seek to be near to the human, seemingly trying to communicate and behave completely peaceful while we can enjoy this incredible encounter of the 3rd kind? Nearly every wild animal tries to avoid the presence of man. A humpback could easily crash a boat and kill the swimmer who is near him…

There exist innumerable stories and reports about humpbacks and other whales which prove how sensitive and intelligent they are. One of the stories can be read here and here. It is a very moving story about a female humpback caught dangerously in a fishernet, divers who cut her out of it and how she thanked her rescuers.
This is also a very interesting article (ScienceDaily). It is about – more or less – brain cells, which can be found in whales as well as in humans and which play a big role regarding cognitive skills – with the bottomline that we still know too little about the true capacities of certain animals.

My biggest wish is that neither humpback whales nor all the other animals become a myth in the end as it happened to so many other species on this planet. Even if many things are exaggerated, their meaning twisted and adapted to the appropriate interests it is quite obvious that dead and quiet oceans would be something terrifying even menacing because this would be the same fate of mankind.
Today we have the Internet – everybody has access to information and no-one could argue with the excuse “I did not know”! Anyone on this planet is responsible for his immediate environment. Anyone should name the things which need to be changed. Small steps are necessary – those in your own home… we only have one world!

May the beautiful world we still have be conserved and nursed...


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