Monday, November 5, 2012

Point Barrow and Gray Whales

In English class this week we saw a movie called «Big Miracle», and the task was to choose three topics from the movie, and write about it on our blog. I choose to write about the city Point Barrow where the movie was filmed, the gray whales who the people in the movie tried to save and the Inuits who were the people in the movie. I liked the movie and I think the work they did to save the three whales was great and it's good to see that they care about the animals. 

Point Barrow is one of the most northerly places in the US and the distance to the North Pole is only 1,122 nautical miles. The place is also an important geographical landmark which is marking the limit between two marginal seas of the Arctic, the Chukchi Sea on its western side and the Beaufort Sea on the eastern side. Point Barrow was discovered in 1825 by the Europeans Sir John Barrow and Frederick William Beechey. The place is known for the whales which were trapped in the ice in 1988 and people visit the place because of this.

Here you can see where Point Barrow lies, and as you can see it's quite far up.

The gray whale reaches a length of ca. 15.2 meters, a weight of 36 tons and can live up to 70 years. It has it name from the gray patches and the white mottling on its dark skin. 

Gray whale

Back in time gray whales were called devil fish because of their fighting behavior when they were hunted. The whales can be found in the North Pacific Ocean, and often close to land. They travel in groups, called pods and can swim up to 20 000 kilometers from their home in Alaskan waters to the warmer waters outside of Mexico. Like other wales, the gray whales surface to breathe, so migrating groups are often spotted from North America's west coast.  Today the gray whales are fortunately protected by international law. 

Illustration: Gray whale compared with bus
Here you can see the whale size relative to a bus


  1. I like whales a lot there awesome because there like the biggest things in the ocean :D

  2. Nice post about the movie. Did you like it by the way? Perhaps you could write about the Inuits as well since that is in our curriculum goals!

  3. The Inuit, in actuality, are not as primitive as the movie shows it to be. Wearing the furred clothing is more of a ceremony now than an everyday thing. Just as hunting whale and the like are more of ceremony. Though now with the high oil prices, the people in the north slope whether they’re inuit, athabascan, or simply white eat from the land as a need. Only 50,000 people are inuit in the united states and are rarely found anywhere else. Places in Siberia and Greenland had the inuit eradicated decades - maybe centuries- ago.

    Though I would much rather prefer to talk about how Norway is and if you’ve ever tasted pinnekjøtt. If you’ve ever seen the polar bears that we share, or if you’ve ever seen the famous albino moose? Alaska is very similar to Norway in terms of climate. All that matters now is the people in it.

    Selene W. Stoll

  4. Thanks for the comment!

    Yes, I have tasted pinnekjøtt. Me and my family eat it every Christmas eve, and that's a typical tradition here in Norway. We have polar bears in the north of Norway, but I have never seen one. I have neither seen the famous albino moose.

    Now the temperature in Norway is 10.4 Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius) How is the temperature in Alaska right now?

  5. Currently, this week Anchorage has hit a warm spell and thankfully it's 22 Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius). The snow has melted and has transformed into a death trap of ice. Creating a few problems on our haphazard roads.

    Unlike many civilizations, our city road plan was not predetermined. So it's very mixed.

  6. I guys,

    Check the whales and dolphins page at
    a comprehensive catalogue of marine species to sea lovers.