Has anyone ever heard of the mysterious beluga whale found near Norway that people suspect is a Russian spy?
Well, he’s a pretty polite one if he is.
At first, the whale made news a few weeks back when Norwegian fisherman encountered the friendly creature and it got close enough for them to see a harness around its neck with “Equipment St. Petersburg” written on it.
Then it was confirmed by the Arctic nations that they do not use put harnesses on whales for research purposes, that’s why it wasn’t being used or tracked by Norway, Denmark, or Greenland authorities.
Because of the reason that the harness appeared to be Russian made and the whale was really friendly, in a quick time, rumors were spread that it must be a “Russian spy.”
But it is yet another mystery how the whale is supposed to spy and communicate with no discernable camera or recording device.
The whale has now been freed from his harness, he’s been hanging out at the waterfront near Hammerfest, Norway and people are very interested to catch a glimpse of it.
Ina Mansika and her friends were a few of those people and they headed down to the waterfront to watch the waters and got a gorgeous video!
There was the whale, coming right up to greet them!
The friendly whale came right up to the surface and played with them for a few remarkable moments.
But what’s in its mouth, we have to know!
It turns out that the whale had found the cell phone Ina had dropped into the water moments earlier and had retrieved it for her too.
You can see an iPhone in its mouth as it comes towards the surface in this video.
The whale then gently hands the phone over to the group of women.
But then it even sticks around to let them pet its head and say thank you too!
Mansika spoke to The Dodo about that amazing moment:
“We laid down on the dock to look at it and hopefully get the chance to pat it. I had forgotten to close my jacket pocket and my phone fell in the ocean. We assumed it would be gone forever, until the whale dove back down and came back a few moments later with my phone in its mouth!”
Below you can see the entire video of the encounter!
The whole group and everyone watching were amazed by the whale’s act.
“Everyone was so surprised. We almost didn’t believe what we saw,” Mansika said. “I was super happy and thankful that I got my phone back.”
Despite the fact that the phone can’t be used anymore since it’s been underwater (and no amount of storing it in rice is going to fix a deep dive) – but it’s still a very interesting souvenir from an unexpected encounter.
Each and every one of the people are concerned that the friendliness of the whale and its unnatural desire to get up close with humans means it may not be able to thrive in the wild.
The thing that the whale was wearing has been handed over to Norway’s special police security agency (PST), who is trying to determine if it could have been used to carry weapons or cameras at some time.
A lot of commentators have brought up the possibility that the whale is part of a covert Russian naval program that trains mammals to spy on ships, but the Russian Defense Ministry has denied it. (It’s worth noting that it wouldn’t be that odd through – the U.S. military has used mammals as part of their defense strategy ever since the Cold War.)
In general, whales are playful and it could have been used as some sort of therapy animal as well, but no one has claimed it yet. Belugas are particularly intelligent animals, so it’s no surprise at all that it’s been so helpful!
Even though it looks like this particular creature does not want to leave Norway, it will likely be relocated to a sanctuary in Iceland soon.