The gray whale sighted in 2013 off the coast of the African country, Namibia, set a world migration record. This largest land mammal had traveled about 20,000 kilometers to reach this country on the African continent. In fact, it was quite strange to see this creature at one end of the African continent. Gray whales are rarely seen in the North Atlantic Ocean of the Northern Hemisphere. How this creature has come so far is a puzzle for scientists.
This whale is found in the cold waters of the Atlantic
The scientific name for the gray whale is Escricheus robustus. It is found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. It turns out that this gray whale traveled 20,000 km to reach Namibia. This distance is almost impossible to cover for any mammal except humans. After which many scientists also researched the migration of this organism.
Claimed to be born in the North Pacific
Russ Holzel and his colleagues at Durham University in the UK analyzed DNA from whale skin tissue samples to trace its origin. Comparing it to another gray whale, they found it to be a male gray whale. Scientists believe it probably originated from an endangered population in the Pacific Northwest off the coast of East Asia.
World record set by swimming 20,000 km
Scientists say this means he traveled at least 20,000 kilometers to reach the South Atlantic. The circumference of the Earth is just over 40,000 km. This means that this creature traveled the same distance as half the world to reach Namibia.
This record was previously worked by Gray Wolf
Russ Holzel said it was actually the world record for migrating in water. If you think this whale started life in the Pacific Northwest and made it to the shores of Namibia, then that’s a big deal. To our knowledge, no mammal other than man has traveled such a long distance. Previously, a gray wolf living on land had traveled a distance of about 7,000 km for migration.