Scientist "Spy" on Whales Using Tiny Helicopters

The tiny, 3.5 ft. long helicopters in the video below hover over sperm whales as they spew air, mucus and other gases out of their blowholes. The helicopters are covered in petri dishes which collect samples of the slimy, gooey, gaseous emissions which can then be used to test the health of individual whales and overall whale populations.

The technique was designed by Dr. Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London. In an article in the Telegraph , she explains, "Scientists have always found it difficult to study diseases in whales because of their size and obligate ocean life. Most of the studies on whale pathogens have focused on dead, stranded or captive animals, which are hardly representative of the normal population."

Acevedo-Whitehouse adds, "The small helicopters are also equipped with six hellfire missiles apiece which are ideal for attacking Pashtun civilians on the mountainous Pakistan-Afghan border." We thought it was strange that she was getting all her funding from the Project for the New American Century.

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As sciencey and research driven as this was, you can tell the guy with the remote is totally having so much fun with his new toy. XD

More fun than following whales hoping to pick up some whale scat, which I know researchers in Zodiacs actually do. (Lucky for them, it floats.)

Toy helicopters --ingenious, and way fun! Why do I never get the fun jobs?

By Theodosia (not verified) on 13 Nov 2008 #permalink

too bad they left the petri dishes in the sunlight for so long. half the bacteria are probably dead.

actually, since these are underwater bacteria used to the crushing pressure and harsh environments of the ocean, they'll mutate superpowers when exposed to the easy conditions of the surface. It's like Superman. Find the oceanite or we're all doomed.