Undersea explorers often liken the dark depths beneath the waves as to another world. And indeed, looking out at the ocean can conjure the same feelings of awe and humility as gazing up towards the night sky, unimaginably vast, seemingly infinite, just beyond our reach.
But unlike outer space, we know the oceans holds life -- intelligent life at that, and our presence there is being felt.
No other creatures stir our sense of wonder quite like our ocean-going mammalian counterparts: whales, dolphins, and porpoises. These denizens of the deep have a been a source of wonder for centuries, inspiring a sense of distant kinship unparalleled by any other non-human animal. It's not surprising then that whale-watching tours have become a $2 billion a year industry. In human terms, it could be said that cetaceans are among the most profitable celebrities on the planet.
On occasion, however, instead of having to venture out to see them, they come marching in to us, blurring the perceived borders of our two worlds -- though it should remind us that there really aren't any.