Look, we get it. All the virtual travel articles and see-the-world-from-your-laptop tips were fun for the first few months of the pandemic, when it was all still a novelty. But now that you’ve taken online trips to cities, museums and historical sites around the world, you may be looking for something else. So allow us to introduce you to this live, underwater beluga whale cam. Even in non-pandemic times, it’s not like most people would be able to spend time up close and personal with these surprisingly cute (and smiley) mammals. Here’s how to see them.
How to watch beluga whales
Even though we don’t usually associate cold-weather animals with the summer, each year during this season around 57,000 beluga whales make the trip from the Arctic to the warmer waters of Manitoba’s Churchill River. And from now until September, a live underwater camera will give us a glimpse inside a pod of beluga whales.
Operated by Polar Bears International (PBI) and Explore.org, this is the eighth summer this camera has been in operation, positioned on a boat in the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. Not only that, but there’s also a hydrophone that captures the sounds of the whales, so you can hear them playfully communicate with each other. They “speak” through a series of clicks, chirps, grunts, clangs, screeches and whistles, and like humans, have to learn how to communicate with each other as they grow up. To tune in, play the embedded video above or visit the beluga page on Explore.org. THere’s also a separate YouTube stream for the “Beluga Boat Cam — On Deck.”
If you want to learn more about beluga whales, PBI is also hosting a number of live chats with scientists, researchers and the beluga boat captain throughout the summer. There will be one session on August 13 entitled “Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea & Beluga’s Closest Cousin” that might be especially fun for kids (or yourself).