Wonderful Engineering

Beluga Whales Are Likely Being Used By Russian Navy As Spies

In other news, a group of fisherman in Norway came across a Beluga whale wearing harness from St. Petersburg last week. For those who don’t understand what it means; this is not the first time that a navy has relied on animals for the sake of reconnaissance.

The Norwegian fisherman found a beluga whale that was wearing a harness just off the side of their boat. The whale appeared to be quite tame and comfortable in the presence of humans. However, the harness appeared to be extra tight. The fisherman, for the safety of the whale, contacted a group of scientists to figure out if they could save the whale.

The scientists located the whale, and they were able to remove the harness. Once they were able to locate the Beluga whale, they removed the harness they saw the following text, ‘Equipment of St. Petersburg’. The scientists believe that the Beluga whale is the part of a Russian Navy project that used tamed whales for carrying out reconnaissance.

If it is true, then this is not the first time that Russia has carried out experiments including animals for the oceanic military purposes. U.S. and Russia both were working on training dolphins for hunting underwater mines and defend harbors during the cold war. The U.S. ceased the majority of these experiments; however, Russia was reported for looking new dolphins in 2015 as well.

Beluga whales offer plenty of advantages though according to H.I. Sutton, submarine expert and author of Covert Shores, ‘Belugas are ideal for operations in the Arctic where they are specially adapted to surviving in the harsh environment. Being relatively slow swimmers, Belugas are less suited to some marine mammal missions such as intercepting and marking enemy combat divers.’

The team of Norwegian scientists believed that the Beluga whale and the harness could be a part of an experiment at the University of St. Petersburg. However, the researchers at the university stated that no experiment of the sort was being carried out. This led to the scientists to believe that the Russian Navy at Murmansk was responsible for this. Although, there is no confirmation as the Russian Navy has yet to comment on this matter.

According to the scientists, the harness was most likely designed for attaching a GoPro or a similar camera of the sort thus rendering the Beluga whales as instruments for surveillance. This might also explain why the Beluga whale was extra friendly and was comfortable in getting close to the Norwegian fishing boat.