For better or worse, Europeans are much more aware of class than we Canadians.
It turns out that European class struggles aren’t just confined to land; they’re also hitting the ocean.
It also turns out that Orca’s aren’t sometimes called Killer Whales for no reason.
While we may see Orcas as some of our ocean’s most magnificent and lovable creatures, like any top predator, they can be brutal.
From dolphins to blue whales to seals, Orcas know can bring down anything when hunting.
It’s a skill that, up until recently, they hadn’t directed at humans, but all that has changed in the past few years.
Recently European Orcas have developed a new hobby, sinking fancy yachts.
Scientists aren’t quite sure what’s provoked this behaviour, but they think it may have stemmed from one Orca having a nasty run-in with wealthy yachties.
López Fernandez told Live Science that some scientists think it started after one female named White Gladis had an initial collision.
The theory is she started the trend of “defensive behaviour” against yachts.
“That traumatized orca is the one that started this behaviour of physical contact with the boat,” López Fernandez said.
Other Orcas simply learned from her, and they’re good at it.
A trio of them most recently worked together to sink a yacht off the coast of Spain.
“The two little orcas observed the bigger one’s technique and, with a slight run-up, they too slammed into the boat,” skipper Werner Schaufelberger told Germany’s Yacht magazine.
Everyone got safely off the yacht, but it ended up at the ocean’s bottom.
While this kind of behaviour luckily hasn’t made it to our coasts yet, it’s happening more often in Europe.
Three boats have fully sunk since 2022, and many more reports of similar interactions where the yachts stayed afloat.
Even when the yachts doesn’t sink, passengers still report the ordeal as a terrifying experience.
No one wants to be on the receiving end of what yacht passenger Ester Kristine Storkson described to NPR as “a coordinated attack.”
But observers and Orca fans have fully empathized and even cheered on the whale’s fight.
“They’ve certainly had reason to engage in that kind of behaviour,” said Monika Wieland Shields, director of the Orca Behavior Institute, to NBC NEWS.
“There are places where they are shot at by fishermen. They’ve watched family members be taken from their groups into captivity in the ‘60s and ‘70s. And if something was going to motivate direct aggression, I would think something like that would have done it.”
On social media, people have expressed similar sentiments a little less professionally.
As no one, so far, has been killed or injured by these attacks, people seem pretty comfortable making jokes about it.
For now, if it came down to rooting for the Orcas or the members of European yacht clubs, we know who we’re picking.
It’s not the ones who have insurance.