+
upworthy
popular

New York City was visited by nine different whales in one day and the photos are amazing

New York’s harbors are the cleanest they’ve been in over 100 years.

whales new york

This is postcard-worthy.

People often pay to go on whale watching tours in hopes of mayyyyybe catching a single glimpse of a tail splashing the water—if they’re lucky.

On August 13, however, folks in New York City got the whale watching cruise of a lifetime as they were able to witness not one, not two, but NINE whales swimming in the harbor.

While onboard a tour with American Princess Cruises, Celia Ackerman, who works as a naturalist for the company, captured multiple breathtaking photos of the creatures with a view of New York’s skyline as the backdrop.

Here’s just one of the beauties:

gotham whales twitter, 9 whales new yorkGorgeous!All images taken by Celia Ackerman, used with permission from Gotham Whale

Ackerman is also a research associate for Gotham Whale, a marine mammal research, education and advocacy organization. Gotham Whale tweeted the images not only to let others join in on nature’s spectacle, but also to raise awareness and avoid potential collisions.

“Amazing day to say the least,” Gotham Whale’s caption read.

This once-in-a-lifetime sighting might be less of a miracle and more a result of concerted efforts to clean New York’s waters. Back in 2019, the New York Post cited a study that showed New York’s harbors were the purest they’ve been in nearly 110 years, not since “Albert Einstein had just published his theory of relativity,” according to the Post article. This was largely due to the Clean Water Act of 1972, in addition to volunteer environmental groups, according to the article.

Cleaner water means more fish, and more fish means a whale buffet. Not to mention some amazing photos:

whales new york, new york harbor, gotham whales

Breach incoming!

Celia Ackerman

“Something else to make your heart happy!” someone commented alongside a blue whale emoji.

whale sightings, whale cruise new york

What's not to love about this photo?

Celia Ackerman

This is the stuff fairy tales are made of y'all.

whales new york

Over-whale-mingly cool.

Celia Ackerman

Hands down, most successful whale watching cruise ever. No question.

new york harbor whales, cecilia ackerman twitter

One fish, two fish…

Celia Ackerman

These whales gave a water show and everything (see below):

gotham whales twitter

We're in the splash zone.

Celia Ackerman

There’s even a video of three breaching whales from the same day, shared by science and health reporter Aaron Tremper.

“I would’ve been screaming. This is so magical!” wrote one person.

Of course, the new-and-improved coastline is not only attracting whales. On August 8, 2022, two sharks were spotted off a beach in Queens, New York. And there were 15 shark sightings in one day the previous week, according to ABC7 New York. However, shark attacks are still quite rare.

I know what you’re thinking—where are the dolphins?! Don’t worry, Ackerman found some of those, too.

Like this Clymene dolphin below, whose most well-known party trick is spinning while jumping out of the water.

whale spotting new york, new york whales

He's auditioning for the "Flipper" reboot.

Celia Ackerman

These images come as a respite after the news that Freya, a walrus in Norway who captured hearts by sunbathing in various boats, was euthanized by authorities after being declared a “threat to human safety.” Her death was considered by many to be an avoidable act of cruelty, brought on by human negligence. However, the walrus named after a Norse goddess of love aptly still commands reverence by her followers, who have started a fundraiser to erect a statue in her honor.

We don’t always do right by our animal friends. But when we do, it shows. New York’s impromptu whale party is literal living proof of that. Finally, some good news about growing traffic!

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

Keep ReadingShow less
Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.

Keep ReadingShow less
OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.

Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.
Keep ReadingShow less