In 2018 a lost narwhal was sighted in the Saint Lawrence River, which lies hundreds of miles away from his natural Arctic habitat. And this wasn’t the first time that the sea creature had found himself in foreign waters, either, as he’d also previously been seen in the same area of Canada in 2016 and 2017. But although the narwhal may have been far from his usual stomping grounds, he wasn’t alone. Yes, the whale had an unlikely group of friends to keep him company – although his traveling buddies may not be who you’d expect.
According to National Geographic, the narwhal is “the unicorn of the sea” – and it’s not hard to spot why. You see, the mammal’s most distinguishing feature is its incredible tusk, which partly helps the narwhal reach a size of up to 20 feet long. And that protuberance may make swimming into one of the creatures a distinctly dicey prospect.
That said, tusks – which can grow to the length of a javelin – are most noticeable in males of the species, although female narwhals can develop minor versions themselves. And while the spiral protrusion’s use is not entirely known, it’s nevertheless thought that the tusk may be handy in attracting potential mates – or discouraging any competition from doing the same.