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Nature Neato

Discovery

Yesterday, I read about the discovery of a new species of whale in the Gulf of Mexico.

The new species has been named Rice’s Whales. They were originally thought to be Bryde’s Whales, but some scientists suspected there were differences. These scientists collected genetic data a few years ago, which gave preliminary confirmation of their suspicions. Then, a dead whale was found in 2019, and the scientists were able to verify their hypothesis.

At first, it seems surprising that these whales have been swimming around, unidentified, for so long. Scientists estimate, however, that there are fewer than 100 Rice’s Whales left in the world; they are in danger of extinction. Combine that with the size and depth of the ocean as well as the challenges of locating specific types of fish and animals in the sea, and it’s not so surprising after all.

The discovery of this new species isn’t going to make much, if any, impact on the lives of most of us here on Earth. We would have gone on with our human existence even if we’d never learned about these whales. Likewise, the whales would have gone on living their watery lives regardless of our awareness. With that in mind, maybe this news isn’t such a big deal, especially considering everything else that’s happening these days.

On the other hand, maybe it’s the type of news we need right now. It’s a reminder that, as smart as we are and as much as we know, there is still so much for us to discover. So, here’s to curiosity, to riddles and mysteries, and to all that we have yet to learn.

On the other hand, maybe it’s On the other hand, maybe it’s a nice little reminder of what can happen through a combination of curiosity, perseverance, and the belie

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