The Last Narwhal – Unicorn of the Sea
With the aid of the animated classic film, ‘The Last Unicorn,’ learn about the origin of the legend & the myth; the rare and mysterious tusked whale of the Arctic, the Narwhal.
The legend of the Unicorn, Uni=one corn= horn, stems from the vikings whaling in the Arctic waters around Svalbard off of current Greenland. They found these strange whales that had horns that were ten feet long. After bringing their catch home they had many of these ‘tusks’ and decided to sell them as curiosities to other Europeans. Being very protective of their fishing & hunting grounds they never said were, or what, the tusks came from. Slowly the legend of the horse with one horn arose and the myth around the Unicorn was born.
In the animated film a lone unicorn, Lady Amalthea, looks for the rest of her kind in a magical kingdom after they have all mysteriously disappeared. An evil, if somewhat benign, king has driven them into the ocean so that he can see them every day since they’re the only thing in the world that makes him happy. Lady Amalthea takes it upon herself, in human form, to fight the giant bull that has imprisoned them in the waters. Thus freeing the ‘unicorns in the sea’.
The Narwhal is referred to as the ‘Unicorn of the Sea,’ and currently faces a similar peril as the rest of the unicorns in this story. The mad king in this case is corporate greed and the search for Arctic Oil. Using Seismic Cannons, the second loudest manmade sound on earth behind the explosion of an Atomic Bomb, to search for undersea oil pose a dire threat to marine mammals and the narwhals of Baffin Bay in particular.
Baffin Bay is home to 90% of the world’s narwhals. A seismic survey is planned that will see these cannons exploding every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for five years.
The Inuit of Clyde River, Nunavut are fighting the corporations to save the eardrums of marine mammals and continue the existence of the near threatened narwhals and their habitat.