#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA.THIS IS TAIMYR. The inscription on the picture back says that the whale died and was washed ashore in the area of the Levinsky Sands village. Then it was transferred to Dudinka. It happened in 1948.
Interesting that there are two shots with a whale in Dudinka. The second one is made by another photographer and with a different date – 1957. Whether this was the same case and the dates differ erroneously or two different whales that sailed with a ten-year difference is unknown.
The memoirs of an eyewitness have been preserved, who from the board of the ship saw a whale swimming up the Yenisey (from north to south, if you look at the map):
“There was no doubt: in the middle of the river in the direction of Dudinka, a rare specimen of the bowhead whale, about 30 meters long, was swimming, it is not known by what fate it penetrated from the Arctic ocean through the Kara sea to the Yenisey delta. Not even delta, there was a good hundred kilometers to the delta. This was the riverbed. Here the whale was already cramped, so any change in the course of its movement could cause irreversible consequences”.
Bowhead (polar) whales do live in the Kara sea – this is the marginal sea of the Arctic ocean – and can rise up the northern rivers. Such cases also occur further south. For example, in 2019, a humpback whale that swam into the Thames was seen near London.
In the History Spot photo project’s previous publication, we told why all Norilsk lawns were always laid out strictly in the center of the streets.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive