Earlier this month, a beluga whale made headlines after it apparently defected from the Russian military and was found in waters off the coast of Norway.
The whale was found by Norwegian fishermen, no more than a few miles from a small northern harbour near Hammerfest. It was reportedly wearing a harness, fitted with a mount for a camera or weapon, with the words ‘Equipment St Petersburg’ on it.
While the appearance of the whale was exciting for locals, it was also concerning for experts, who believe the whale had been trained for specific purposes – by the military or otherwise – and feared it would struggle to adapt to life in the wild.
Whether the whale is from the military or not, it turns out the wayward mammal is a kind soul, and can be rather helpful for clumsy travellers.
Ina Mansika found this out the hard way, as she and her friends headed to Hammerfest to see if they could spot the alleged former spy whale.
Ina and her friends managed to see the beluga, but unfortunately in the process, Ina’s phone dropped out of her pocket and into the murky blue depths of the sea.
Amazingly, however, the beluga whale soon returned to the surface with Ina’s phone in its mouth, and returned the device to its owner.
You can watch the video here:
Ina told The Dodo:
We laid down on the dock to look at it and hopefully get the chance to pat it. I had forgotten to close my jacket pocket and my phone fell in the ocean.
We assumed it would be gone forever, until the whale dove back down and came back a few moments later with my phone in its mouth!
Everyone was so surprised. We almost didn’t believe what we saw. I was super happy and thankful that I got my phone back.
Unfortunately, the phone was beyond repair thanks to its brief sojourn in Davy Jones’ Locker. Luckily for Ina though, a not so clumsy friend caught the whole thing camera, so at least she’ll have evidence when she tells the geniuses at the Apple store what happened.
If you’re thinking of making the same journey as Ina to visit the whale, however, experts have warned that people should stop feeding the animal so it can learn to forage on its own, and hopefully join another pod of belugas, The Guardian reports. If not, it may have to be placed in a sanctuary.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.