Greeting Nerdarchy readers,
For those of you who do not know, I am a gamer who loves the World of Darkness series of games. This is not my only passion, though, as I adore zoology and especially marine life. If I had to pick my favorite of our floating friends, I would say Cetaceans, or whales, to be my absolute favorite. Another passion of mine is mysteries of the natural world. Low and behold, there is something that combines all of this.
See, in our oceans we have an unknown whale that has been calling out for over two decades now that no one can identify. Known for it’s unusually high-pitched sonic signature, the call whales use to find mates and their pods, the 52 Hertz whale is one of a kind. First detected in 1989 by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and further identified by declassified naval recordings by the SOSUS anti-submarine hydrophone arrays, this whale was immediately a mystery to one and all. See, a blue whale’s signature will fall between 10-39 Hertz, and fin whales are usually around 20 Hertz. The fact this whale was detected at 52 Hertz, double if not more than the range of others, makes it a mystery. How is it making this noise? Why is it the only one?
The fact that the call has deepened as of 1992 to 49 Hertz means the whale is not only able to survive on its own but is thriving into maturity. Each year, between August and December (that means right now!) the whale has been detected off the coast of California to the Aleutian to Kodiak Islands until January to February. With an average speed of 30 to 70 KM a day, it gets around quite a bit. Could it be searching for another like it? Could it be lost?
Now what makes this significant is that pop culture has picked up this whale in earnest. Leonardo DiCapprio has donated $50,000 toward a documentary to find the whale, titled “52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale,” and Colin Stetson drew inspiration from it for his song “Part of Me Apart From You,” while South Korean bands known as BTS and EXO even wrote their songs “Whalien 52” and “Sing for You” about this mysterious giant. Why does this matter? Because it shows the world is searching and interested in this being, yet we cannot find him. Hard to picture all the world on the lookout yet something the size of a baleen whale is able to hide. The ocean is an amazing place.
Current theories about why the 52 Hertz whale is unique have been brought forth, some more feasible than others. The leading three theories are actually scientifically sound and each one bares its own evidence. Theory one is that 52 is a new evolution of blue whale or a mutation of such. This could easily explain its unique call, but what benefits would this higher call have? As the whale is able to survive on its own, I surmise the call would be some sort of defensive adaptation. Theory two is that 52 is a hybrid between a blue whale and some other species. This could explain the higher pitch, but I would ask what cetacean has a signature higher than 52 to make such a mix happen? Finally, the third theory is that 52 may be deaf. This does have a way of altering one’s voice and volume, though I ask one question about this: Does being deaf effect a whale’s echolocation? If yes, than how is 52 thriving without it?
Enter the World of Darkness, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and Oppinartokua
While reading my recent acquisitions from Drivethrurpg.com on their still ongoing rage sale, I found something interesting that rang a familiar proverbial bell with me. A 52 Hertz sounding proverbial bell, if you will. In Werewolf there is a type of being known as a celestine. These beings are such powerful spirit they manifest as planets, stars, meteors, and such in the physical world. The closest one to us is Gaia, the spirit of the Earth. Gaia, for whatever reason, populates or enhances creatures, people, places, or even things with a fragment of her power. These creatures, these demigods, are known as the Kami. This is of strictly coincidental similarity to the Japanese word for a divine being as the language used to identify these Kami predate mankind in its entirety.
One specific Kami, known as Opinnartokua, is what we will be talking about now.
Opinnartokua is a Kami blue whale, described as older than men and their boats have been on the ocean. He swims forever in motion, searching for his love who he knows is out there, but has never found. Rebuking all mates, he dances and sings only for Her, the Sea known as Gaia. This heartbreaking tale of one who is alone and in love but never fails to continue to search, reminds me of 52. I believe they are one and the same, to be honest. If this was the intent of Obsidian Path and White Wolf, I do not know, but if it was, I would be forever impressed.
Now Opinnartokua is unique among whales, just like 52, but unlike 52 we can define Opinnartokua. Opinnartokua is noticably large, even by blue whale standards. His hide has become so encrusted with minerals and sealife that it has become a stone-like ecosystem unto itself. The beings that grow on him may not know it, but they prosper due to Opinnartokua’s strong spiritual pressure or Gnosis. Surrounding Opinnartokua is perhaps the most unusual companions he could have, a school of Rokea, or weresharks. For those who have read my articles on Werewolf: The Apocalypse, you know Werewolves are frightening beasts indeed. Rokea are single-handedly the reason Werewolves tend to stay out of the oceans, and Opinnartokua has an entire school of them as his attendants, guardians, and in a way, family. I theorize the Rokea feed off Opinnartokua’s gnosis and in return keep him safe from physical and spiritual attacks as Kami tend to attract agents of the Wyrm seeking their destruction. Proof of this is found in the veritable treasure trove of artifacts and weapons embedded in Opinnartokua’s hide. If one searched hard enough, every weapon that has been brought to sea or used to hunt whale can be found there.
Now the Apocalypse is coming soon, and Opinnartokua is old, blind, and tired. He has forgotten more than any civilization has ever known. Soon he will stop in his Gaia-given quest to keep moving always. Soon he will be with his love. Soon the Sea and Opinnartokua will be as one. This heartbreaking fact reminds us, here in the real world, that the mysteries of the sea are not eternal. Though blue whales and their ilk are large, they are not invulnerable. It is now, not tomorrow or next week, that we must band together and work to preserve our oceans and those that live within it. Because the world we leave our children to live in, the one with all their hopes and dreams in it, may not be there if we do not protect it now.
Want to get out and see the ocean yourself? Perhaps spot Opinnartokua/52 yourself? Go to Fan2Sea and use promo code Nerdarchy for 10% off.
Play Destiny or other PS4 game? Come join the Nerdarchy Playstation community and add nubz_the_zombie. I would love to play with you all.
Stay nerdy and just keep swimming,