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Unfamiliar 'Blue Whale' Sounds Raise Fear in Egypt

Unfamiliar 'Blue Whale' Sounds Raise Fear in Egypt

Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 - 07:00
Humpback whale with her calf is seen near the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, October 17, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. Reuters TV via REUTERS

Over the past few days, videos featuring terrifying sounds have gone viral on social media pages in Egypt.

People who recorded the videos said they observed a blue whale emitting unfamiliar sounds on the country's northern coasts, which stirred controversy about the animal's presence in the region.

Some websites backed the videos and made reports on blue whales, their characteristics, and their unfamiliar sounds. However, the Egyptian Environment Ministry announced Sunday on its Facebook official page that the circulated information are incorrect.

According to the statement, the ministry had contacted the concerned parties and citizens who live in the surrounding cities, and they denied hearing any weird sounds.

The ministry suggested the circulated videos are fake and deliberately manipulated. It also assured that the sounds emitted by blue whales in deep waters are nothing like the sounds heard in the videos.

The ministry explained that many types of whales live in the Mediterranean Sea, and that their recurrent appearances on the Egyptian coasts indicate a "good environmental condition" in the region.

For his part, Magdy Allam, secretary general of Arab environment experts, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the appearance of whales in the Mediterranean Sea is a normal phenomenon, noting that: "Sometimes whales are forced to migrate from oceans to seas in search of food, not for mating, as was rumored in the videos shared on social media."

Although many types of whales have been observed in the Mediterranean, Dr. Allam noted that the Blue Whale has not been monitored in Egypt only, but in all countries bordering the Mediterranean.

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