Meet Johnson, Piccard and Walsh!
If you have a look at the sperm whales in our catalog at www.whalenfld.org, you will notice that all of the whales are named after explorers. Our friend Reg Kempen created and maintains this site and he decided that because these whales are such world travelers, they should be named after explorers. When we photographed the three new sperm whales this year, he asked us to find names of explorers that were important in Canada. We decided that people who have explored space and the deep ocean would also be included in our search. Our three new sperm whales now have names that we are pleased with.
Shawna Prince’s maiden name was Johnson and Reg thought it would great to name one after her as well as the Canadian Explorer John Johnson who was an Arctic explorer acting as a mechanic and cook for the MacGregor Arctic Expedition in 1937-1938. This is Johnson.
Because sperm whales are such deep divers, we thought it might be fitting to name some after deep sea explorers. Interestingly, there have been more people explore space than the deep ocean. We came across Jacques Piccard and Donald Walsh who dove to the deepest part of the Marianas Trench, The Challenger Deep near Guam on January 23, 1960. They still hold the record for the deepest dive at 10,911 metres (35,797 ft).
Here is a photo of Piccard and Walsh after that dive in 1960.
This whale is now known as Piccard
And this whale will now be called Walsh.
It’s fun naming whales! Hopefully there will be lots more new whales to name this season!