Death Metal music is a great way to tick off your upstairs neighbors and in-laws, but CBS News reports that the face-melting genre serves another purpose: fending off orca attacks. In light of recent orca attacks that have been taking place off the coast of Spain and Portugal, sailors have learned that killer whales are not fans of extremely abrasive and brutal music, and have made a Spotify playlist to keep them at bay. The playlist, entitled “Metal for Orcas,” is now circulating among sailors, but they’re seeing mixed results, as some orca pods are adapting to the onslaught of sick riffs, and continuing to attack ships anyway.
Metal For Orcas
The playlist designed to fend off orca attacks includes music from The Fallen Prophets, Dying Fetus, Monument Of Misanthropy, Aborted, and Benighted, to name a few. The combination of low bass frequencies, pummeling kick drum patterns, screeching guitars, and Cookie Monster growls has proven effective, but we’re wondering for how long.
One Glaring Issue
Though using thrash and death metal seems like a way to minimize orca attacks, there is one glaring problem that we need to consider. These apex predators are capable of adaptive reasoning, as well as passing on any learned environmental lessons onto their pod. In other words, if orca pods within a specific region are exposed to death metal, thrash metal, power metal, or any of the other various metal sub-genres, they will probably still attack once they learn how to overcome the overpowering frequencies that sailors are exposing them to.
Being the mischievous creatures that they are, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that orca whales will grow to enjoy the genre, and simply consider death metal as their preferred genre for future attacks.
The Idea Has Already Backfired
In fact, we’ve already seen this method backfire when German Sailor Florian Rutsch used the playlist off the coast of the Iberian peninsula. He used the playlist in question with the intention of stopping potential orca attacks, but the killer whales succeeded in striking his boat’s rudders, and disabling its steering. Though the playlist may have worked in the past, Rutsch’s boat ultimately had to be towed to safety by Spanish authorities.
Boat Attacks On The Rise
Sailors should be very careful if they want to survive orca attacks, because they’ve been ramping up over the past few years. Experts have reason to believe that this particular brand of nautical tomfoolery stems from an incident in 2020, in which a killer whale named White Gladis started ramming boats after having a traumatizing encounter with a ship off the Iberian peninsula. The prevailing theory is that she taught her pods how to take down ships by ramming their rudders, and that this kind of learned behavior has expanded beyond her pod, and taken over the entire region.
The Music Could Cause Damage
Marine biologists are also wary of this new method to fend of orca attacks because underwater blast beats could be damaging to their hearing, or even worse, cause sensory overload that could potentially make their attacks more violent.
It’s a known fact that orca whales are highly intelligent, and if they get used to death metal, or even grow to like it, they’re just going to have fun as they sink more vessels with a vengeance. And to add insult to injury, there’s not a lot of music heavier than death metal, so if sailors are already blasting their subwoofers with the genre’s damaging decibels, then there’s not much room left on this front to ante up.
To put it simply, if orca whales are already getting used to bands like Pig Destroyer, you can’t then try to scare them off with lighter stuff like Metallica.