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."
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.