Wild Beluga Whale Party

National Geographic Young Explorer and wildlife photographer Nansen Weber has been going to the same party for 16 years and it never gets old. Each summer for about a month, thousands of beluga whales congregate in Cunningham Inlet, a part of Canada’s Somerset Island. “Basically it’s just a big party, a socializing thing. There’s been speculations that the whales go there to molt their skin, to get rid of parasites, that it’s a nursery for the young whales, but … you can definitely see it on their face—they’re having a good time. They’re enjoying the warmer water of the Cunningham River, which can be 8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the ocean and that’s like a bathtub when you’re swimming in 1 degree Fahrenheit water all the time,” Weber says, describing the yearly scene.


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