Orca Boat Attacks Have Come to Scotland

This feels more and more like a horror movie

Orcas aren't messing around, apparently.
Getty Images

Remember in May when orcas began attacking boats — and, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be sharing information on the best techniques to use to do so? Clearly there is nothing alarming about that whatsoever; the unsettling parallels between real life and The Onion‘s headline about dolphins developing thumbs is no cause for alarm. Or maybe it’s time to avoid anywhere in the ocean orcas may roam.

The latest orca attack took place off the coast of Scotland. As Philip Hoare and Jeroen Hoekendijk reported for The Guardian, the orca’s behavior toward the boat it attacked was similar to the way orcas have attacked boats near Spain and Portugal — just thousands of miles away.

The article describes the experience that Wim Rutten had while yachting and fishing for mackerel. Dr. Rutten told The Guardian that the orca was “looking for the keel” and repeatedly circled the vessel. He offered a few possible explanations for the orca’s behavior, from wanting to play to attempting to get rid of the fishing line.

Scientists still seem unsure as to how the orcas are transmitting this information from pod to pod. And this attack near Scotland wasn’t the only one this week. ESPN recently reported that a vessel taking part in The Ocean Race was attacked by orcas near Gibraltar. Something’s changed in the oceans — and it’s increasingly unnerving.

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