Narwhals are rare species of whales that have a distinct appearance and mysterious nature. They are often referred to as the unicorns of the sea because of the tusks that extend from their mouths. These tusks are actually their teeth that protrude so long they appear like horns similar to unicorns. Many narwhals can be found in the Arctic region near the waters of Canada, Greenland, and Russia. These sea creatures are fascinating enough with their looks and the following facts make them fascinating even more:
Fact 1: The narwhal tusks can grow to as long as 10 feet in length. Mostly found in males, these protruding teeth are often so long that they seem like horns on the head. These tusks actually come out from the whale’s front lip area.
Fact 2: Unlike other whale species, narwhals prefer to stay in the Arctic region all year round. These horned whales may be transfer from the shoreline to the deep parts of the sea but they stay within the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, and Russia.
Fact 3: Narwhals are able to change color. As narwhals grow older, their color changes from a darker hue to almost white. Newborn narwhals usually have a blue-gray color and this color changes to blue-black and eventually to mottled type of gray in adulthood. The gray turns to almost white as the narwhal grows even older.
Fact 4: Narwhal skin is fortified with Vitamin C. It is said that the Inuit people of the Arctic region got their dose of this essential vitamin from the skin of narwhals.
Fact 5: No narwhals are in captivity. Several attempts were tried in the past to keep these whales captive but these were all unsuccessful with the animals dying in a few months.
Fact 6: Narwhals are great divers. These animals may frequent the shoreline near the summer months in search for food, but they can actually dive to a depth of up to 5000 feet when necessary.
Fact 7: Narwhals prefer the cold ice of winter. During the winter months, narwhals are known to prefer to stay beneath the ice in the deep sea. As members of the whale family, this is the narwhal’s way of migration from the shorelines which they prefer during the hotter months of summer.
Fact 8: Narwhals like to travel in groups. These whales are typically seen with a large group with some groups reaching to 100 in total. Communication between each other is through various sounds they make.
Fact 9: Orcas or killer whales are a big threat to narwhals. Their cousin whales are one of their major predators along with polar bears. Narwhals are known to move generally slowly which make them a great target for orcas.
Fact 10: Narwhals were considered majestic animals during medieval times. Records have shown that their tusks were even considered very precious by the royal family. Back in the 16th century, a narwhal tusk was said to be so precious that it was given as a gift to Queen Elizabeth.