Resembling a creature from mythology, the Narwhal travels every year through narrow fissures for thousands of miles, from the south of Baffin Bay to the high Arctic fjords. They are called the "Arctic Unicorns" because of the long, spiral tusk that protrudes from their jaws. Their appendages can reach more than 2m (7ft) in length and scientists believe males use them to attract potential mates.

This annual journey is an amazing sight to see on their summer migration. Because of their elusive nature, the Narwhal had never been filmed before. Recently however, a BBC camera crew was able to film these magnificient animals in June of 2008.

The filming took place from the air on a helicopter as the Narwhal were following the retreat of the sea ice as they have done for thousands of years. They were initially very difficult to find and it took a dive crew up to 4 weeks to locate them. Even though the Narwhal is a very large animal and the area to be covered was also very large - the size of a country such as Scotland - the dive crew reported that it was like "finding a needle in a haystack."

The Narwhal feeds in the deep water in the central part of Baffin Bay during the winter. In the summer however, they spend their time in front of the glaciers in the Arctic fjords and hardly feed at all. Since they are so connected to the Artic ice, researchers are trying to establish whether or not they have been effected by the rising temperatures of the deep areas and the decreasing of the ice floes caused by Global Warming.

Even though the purpose of the creatures' summer migration still remains a mystery, scientists have not yet seen any direct effects of climate change on the Narwhal. Let us hope that this remains the case.

Photograph by Paul Nicklen

Video : Arctic Unicorns

Responses to "Narwhals - The Arctic's Unicorn"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Your, Beautiful Man. One Love

  2. What a beautiful and magical creature -- so elegant and lovely :)

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