Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16th-Brought To You By the Letter 'N'

"Oh, yeah? Well mine is bigger than yours."

Sources:  Wikipedia, National Geographic, a sixth-grader named Stewart

  The narwhal or narwhale (as known by smarty-pants named Stewart) belong to the species Monodon Monoceros (Latin for “Watch Out, This Bitch Has Mono”).

  It’s a medium-sized whale which lives year-round in the Arctic (having moved there when its distant relatives, the manatees, got all uppity and kicked them out of their Tampa winter homes for laying around and eating all the fish).

  One of two species of whale in the Monodontidae (there’s that ‘mono’ word again) family, along with the beluga whale (who knew?), they are distinguished by being punier than their snotty cousins, the sperm whale (who really have no reason to feel superior.  Given their name and all).

"Sorta makes you respect
me a little more, huh? No?
Well, I guess a goodnight kiss
is out of the question then."

  In addition to the lack of a true dorsal fin, they possess a characteristic long tusk which extends from a hole in their upper lip.  Primarily a male feature (as if a penis wasn’t enough), they aren’t actually “tusks” at all, but some kind of weird-ass tooth.  And you thought the “Elephant Man” had issues.

  Evidently-drunk medieval Europeans confused this tusk as the horn belonging to the legendary unicorn.  What’s more, they believed it had magical powers which could cure melancholy, poison, erectile dysfunction, beheadings, plague, and the Mongols.  But, since Europeans also believed that elves caused genital herpes, it’s tough to take them seriously.

  The purpose for this narwhallic snaggle-tooth (I just made that term up) remains a mystery.  Differing theories hold that it may have something to do with mating, breaking through dense pack ice, capturing prey, scratching the itch of friendly sea lions, or for advertising.  Although, most reputable biologists now refute its use for catching food.
"So what if I talk? There's no such thing
as elves, either, numbnuts."
  These creatures are found in Canadian, Russian, and Greenland Arctic waters, Seaworld, and with Buddy the Elf.  A specialized predator, their diet consists primarily of benthic fish (NOTE: I have no clue what kind of fish that is. Feel free to look it up).

  Narwhals have been hunted for millennia (NOTE: a long, long time) by native Inuit people (the Polynesians having long since left when they couldn't find enough material for grass skirts) for their meat, ivory, skin, blubber, and as conversation pieces for igloo coffee tables.  However, this practice has dwindled primarily due to a shrinking herd, conservation efforts, evolving cultural practices, and the fact that Dominos now delivers to the North Pole.

"Flipper?  Flipper's a pussy!
See what I did to that trainer at Seaworld?
Yeah, totally effed her up."
  Other predators include killer whales (which aren’t whales at all, but particularly bad-ass dolphins), polar bears, and the occasional confused mountain lion.

  The narwhal. 

  Master of the Northern Ocean, Denizen of the Deep, Bucktoothed Whipping Boy of the Whale World, Scourge of Benthic Fish? 

  Or, are they like the native Qaanaaq say, “Nanooq lamooq na attatook hanni boof”?

  Or, “Beast In Front of Whom You Must Never Bend Over.”

  But, I could be wrong.

Biologists for years believed narhwal used tusks to catch prey
They have since reconsidered 

DISCLAIMER: A lot of the above is probably not true.  Especially that “nanooq” business.  But, elves probably do cause herpes.  At least that’s what Father Karl said.           


  1. Hilarious and (fairly) informative... have you ever considered that marine biology may be your true calling, Al?

  2. I hope I never meet the end of their whale forehead sword.

  3. Hani Boof is a relative of my friend Kola Boof. Those goddamned Qaanaaq shouldn't have taken his name in vain. As for the narwhal, I'd like to see it have a sword fight with Zorro in a speed boat.

  4. Narwhals give me hope that Unicorns really do exist.
    p.s Benthic means "Bottom dwelling"..meaning the bottom of the ocean..
    not what you were thinking Al... I know you..

    1. Well, my mind IS always in the gutt...oh, I know what you mean.
      Thanks for that. I really was too lazy to look it up.

  5. Stop destroying my little world. You have to take back the bit about killer whales being dolphins.
    And the narwhal is real? Just the other day, my brother and I were talking about unicorns, and I told him that they couldn't be real because the tusk would serve no purpose at all. Why would a unicorn evolve to possess one?

    1. It's a genuine critter. And everyone thought that the platypus was the only effed-up looking animal on the planet (well, besides Joan Rivers).
      And, for real, killer whales belong to the dolphin family.

  6. Great post Al. I swear I've never heard of a Narwhal before, but I know if I had heard about it I would just assume it was fake.

  7. I’m guessing you had a whale of a time with this for sperm whales not having a reason to feel superior because of their name – I always felt they are the spunkiest whale out there....As an added bonus if they ever fall on hard times they can jump into the porn industry with only a slight tweak of their name :- Moby Dick staring the Sperminator....

    1. LMAO! Great commentary - Sorry Al...but it is...please don't get all northeast angry now! lololol

    2. You mean I can get all "northeasty"? :-)
      BTW, I read your blog.

    3. Nope, no northeasty LOL

      Thanks for reading - I'm so behind on reading everyone's blogs..I'm still trying to play catch up...

    4. This has been a rough month trying to catch up with everyone. Oooh, as a matter of fact, I see a few people here I need to visit. I'll be glad when May arrives so we can settle down to a more leisurely pace. Hope you'll still be there.....

  8. Wow your blogs haven't been showing up in my reading list. Honestly! As for the Narwhal, it's a badass name for a badass whale. I think that the horn shows that THIS is what happened to the Unicorn. They somehow evolved into Whales.

  9. The Narwhal is awesome except I wouldn't want to run into him in the dark. :)


  10. So we'll just assume that you made a lot of this up, then?



    1. Let's see, things I made up:
      1. Elves.
      2. Elves cause herpes.
      3. They're from Florida (narwhals, not elves. Who are made up).
      4. The real meaning of their Latin name.
      5. They're probably not cousins with the sperm whale.
      6. Mountain lions.
      7. Igloo coffee tables.
      8. Dominos only delivers to the ANTarctic.
      Everything else is true. Is there anything left?

  11. LOL made whale facts fun, I will avoid elves too. Athough after learning most of the salt in the ocean is made up of whale sperm, I will avoid it like the plague from now on...haha

  12. I have begun to rely on your blog for factual information, this way, when my daughter comes to me for help with her homework I can sound all informed and stuff. But now, now I find out it's not all true? At least I can tell her Buddy the Elf gave Santa herpes.

    1. Look at my reply to Pearl and you'll see the things I made up. Everything else is true. Except I really don't think a narwhal would hook a fish that way.

  13. al whyre your new posts not showing up? i thought u were still on hiatus. hilarious stuff as always, esp. loved the kryptonite post. also, are u sure about elves coz one's asked me out to dinner saturday.

  14. Today's 6th degree: Chuck Norris to Kevin Bacon. Technically, Chuck Norris is so tough there's only 1 degree of separation between him and everyone else--his roundhouse kick. If you succeed a battlegroup admiral (and future CNO/CJCS) will almost smile.

    1. I try to be quick (that's what she said)....
      Chuck Norris-Sylvester Stallone-Henry Winkler-Ron Howard-Kevin Bacon
      Chuck Norris was in 'The Expendables' with Sly Stallone who was also in 'The Lords of Flatbush' with Henry Winkler who was in 'Happy Days' with Ron Howard who directed 'Apollo 13' with Kevin Bacon.

  15. My daughter's go fish game had narwhal for N. Besides that, my husband told me about them. Besides being a comic book geek, he also watched entirely too much Wild Kingdom.
    And so technically, if whale hunting is illegal you can still catch an orca? Hmmm... interesting.

  16. @Mike: I did, but I didn't want to go into the Marines.
    @Adam: That's a type of fishing I never want to do

  17. @Gorilla: Hanni was from the Alaskan branch of the Boof family. And you know what kind of white trash THOSE blubber chewers were.
    @BL: Good one! Thar she blows!
    @Mark: I wonder why that is....? As for evolving unicorns, can you imagine them waking up one day and screaming, "What the frik? Why'd it get wet all of a sudden? And where did my GD legs go???"
    @Journaling Woman: Or naked.
    @Pat: Just keep your mouth closed and you should be good to go. The ocean is full of fish pee, too.
    @icyhighs: That's really weird. Must be the Iranians. Good thing an elf instead of a fairy asked you out.
    @Ruth: I never thought of that. Imagine mounting that in your living room, though (hee hee hee....I said 'mounting').

  18. And humpty back camels and some chimpanzees. Some cats and rats and elephants as sure as you're born. Don't forget the unicorns.

  19. Et tu Penwasser ?

    Ok I am NOT going to read back through every goddam A-Z post you've written, I just wish you people would stop it. Now. Some of us just don't have time to read 35 posts a day, and this fucking A-Z nonsense has seriously screwed up my idea that I would rotate reading my followed blogs so a) I didn't spend every evening doing nothing but read blogs ( I have fags to suck on and telly to watch) and b) When I do read one I love I get to enjoy several posts at once. You see that ? Several. Not 463. Ok, I know there's only 26 letters in the alphabet but just about every blog I follow is doing that stupid challenge.

    ps I wonder if the Chinese have their own version ? The size of their alphabet that'd be a REAL challenge.

    1. I'm with you and I don't blame you. This year's challenge is exhausting! I try to read the blogs of those who've commented (thank you) and I sincerely hope my other followers don't feel slighted. It's been next to impossible to keep up with everyone. I'll be stopping by tomorrow because I've spent a couple hours on the computer already. It's been great, but May will be a nice change. Except the pollen count will be dreadful.

  20. Discovery Channel featured these creatures on their Frozen Planet series airing on Sunday nights. Totally fascinating.

  21.'s a...creature feature? Sweet.

  22. Most kick ass article I've ever read on Narwhal. OK, so it's the only article I've ever read on Narwhal. I'm sure I saw something about them on discovery channel.... it's possible it was an add.

  23. "Beast in front of whom you must never bend over." Was that a character in Dances with Wolves? Glad you made up the line about the elves! Julie

  24. "Narwhal". Of all the words in the entire Webster's Dictionary, you use "narwhal"? What about "Nincompoop"? Or "nappy headed ho"?