Here's a question New Yorkers don't get to ask themselves a lot: "Was that a freaking whale I just saw?"  

Besides the big blue one at the Natural History Museum, New York City and its surrounding rivers are not exactly known for having a large population of whales. But things started to get interesting, when the U.S. Coast Guard was flooded with dozens of reports of whale sightings in the Hudson River.

Dr. Rachel Dubroff, who lives in a 63rd Street apartment overlooking the Hudson, told the New York Times that she's seen — or thinks she's seen — a humpback whale hanging out in the Hudson for two years.


Turns out, she wasn't mistaken.

It's now been confirmed that a humpback whale has taken up residence in New York's Hudson River.

“We received the first reports on Wednesday, Nov. 9,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jason Moritz said in a news release. “We’ve had multiple daily sightings since then throughout the harbor and up the Hudson River.”

The Coast Guard is urging all boats on the Hudson to slow down and keep an eye out for more.

You're probably thinking: What's a whale doing in the Hudson River? Well, that's even cooler.

In the 35 years since the Clean Water Act was passed, the Hudson has become a cleaner and healthier habitat for a variety of fish — fish that are super delicious if you're a whale.

When the weather gets cold, whales migrate and look for warm, safe waters with plentiful fish to eat.

A humpback whale in Sydney after migrating from southern waters. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

"The whales found this spot as a feeding ground,” Paul Sieswerda, president of Gotham Whale, which tracks marine life around the city, told the New York Times. “Rather than go all the way up to Massachusetts and Maine, they’ve found a good feeding ground right here in New York.”

As conservation efforts continue, even more whale sightings are likely in the coming years.

"30 years ago you’d see maybe one whale off of Long Island a season," Chuck Bowman, of the Riverhead Foundation, told the New York Times. "Now you see them all the time. ... You get a bigger population and you get a greater chance of things like this happening."

This humpback in Ecuador migrated from the Antarctic. Photo by Rodrigo Buenida/AFP/Getty Images.

It's hard to say if the cleaner waters are directly responsible for the whale's appearance in the Hudson, however, as CBS reports: "Although most experts agree water conditions have improved in the river in the 35 years since the passage of the Clean Water Act, they weren’t willing to say that the visit from the humpback had a direct correlation."

The Hudson whale is a delight for New Yorkers and a significant win for conservationists.

Their hard work has made the waters around New York a vibrant and clean ecosystem for a huge variety of marine life. This year alone, there have been over 100 whale sightings in New York and New Jersey, and scientists are expecting more.

Let's just hope they don't start taking the subway.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Image from Strut Safe's Instagram.

In March 2021, a woman named Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered in South London as she was walking home.

Simply walking home alone at night proved to be life-threatening. But this aspect of the story is no new news. Women have long shared their fears on the subject.

Constant glances over the shoulder and walking with keys between the fingers have become well-known protection rituals against potential violence. And these efforts, though necessary measures of self defense, can at times feel like small band-aids over a larger wound.

As Alice Jackson and Rachel Chung, two students in Edinburgh, attended one of Everard’s vigils, an idea struck them. And it’s helping women in the U.K. gain not only a sense of safety, but something else too. Something of equal immense value.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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