Orcas Keep Sinking Ships Off The Iberian Coast, Possibly Out Of Revenge

The Jaws series isn’t exactly realistic. Sharks don’t tend to gobble humans up near beaches. Don’t even get us started on the fourth one, in which it’s implied an offspring of the original tiger shark followed the heroes down to the Bahamas. Or maybe, considering a recent spate of whale attacks, it’s more lifelike than one thought.

As per The Washington Post, the last few years have seen a spate of orca attacks on boats off the Iberian coast, near Spain and Portugal. Three have ended with the vessels sinking. That includes an incident this month, in which a killer whale took out a yacht.

These attacks may be simply nature taking its course. One report argues that the orcas are just expressing “natural curiosity.”

But the leading theory is that a female orca suffered a “critical moment of agony” involving a boat. Not only did she start attacking boats, but she taught the aggressive behavior to other adult orcas. Meanwhile, her children may simply be imitating her behavior. It’s not far-fetched: Orcas are extremely intelligent and can instruct others on certain behaviors.

That orcas are also endangered in the region, which could have caused friction between them and humans.

(Via The Washington Post)