Researchers measure whales ‘sleeping’ for first time

Researchers in Greenland have managed to collect new data showing that the massive mammals lie still for several extensive periods

Researchers from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources may have become the first to measure the ‘sleeping patterns’ of whales.

The researchers found that the big mammals had several inactive periods under water by using acoustic probes attached to bowhead whales using suction cups or harpoons – which would fall off and rise to the surface after a few days to be collected for data retrieval. 

More specifically, the data showed five periods during which the whale was at a constant depth of 16-38 metres for 24-48 minutes at a time. The periods were only broken by the whale rising to the surface for air.

READ ALSO: The world’s oldest DNA: remains found in Greenland are 2 million years old!

Drift diving = sleeping?
This kind of ‘drift dive’ has also been seen in humpback and sperm whales, as well as some species of seal. 

The researchers believe that the whales are actually asleep when this happens.

And what’s also interesting is that the whales were able to ‘sleep’ despite being recently tagged by tracking equipment.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.