April 30, 2009
My colleague Abigail Tucker, who wrote a story on narwhal biologist Kristin Laidre, “In Search of the Mysterious Narwhal” for the May issue of Smithsonian, just got the most hilarious gift—The Avenging Narwhal Play Set.
The set is complete with a plastic narwhal; four interchangeable tusks, each with special powers (crystal: mind control, hypnosis, global communication; onyx: instant paralysis; ruby: drains the blood of its victims; and ice: freezes water, creates icebergs, chills beverages) and three representatives of the narwhal’s enemy species (penguin, snow seal and koala).
The narwhal’s “true” story appears on the back of the box:
For centuries, the Narwhal was the great mystery of the sea. With the body of a whale and the horn of a Unicorn, many people believed that these fascinating creatures were harmless inhabitants of the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies, however, have exposed the secret agenda of these mysterious mammals and the true purposed of their extraordinarily long pointy tusks.
The studies revealed that millions of years ago, penguins, snow seals and koalas ruled the earth. For sustenance, they feasted upon whales, dolphins and other sea mammals to the point of near extinction. But the Narwhal went into hiding beneath the ice of the North Pole, biding their time, planning their revenge and sharpening their tusks. Finally, they reemerged, tusks gleaming with newfound magical power, and fought back against the adorable creatures that threatened their existence. The battle was long, and many Narwhal were lost, but their strong will and sharp tusks were enough to stave off the cute ones temporarily.
Now, once a year, in a continuous effort to keep their enemies at bay, the Narwhal leave their homes to embark on a treacherous migration to Antarctica in the hunt for baby penguins and seal pups. Many will not return…. Along their journey, they will spend time in Australia, swimming upstream to the inland habitat of the koalas, where they will actually leap out of the water to spear the deadly koalas from their perches high in the Eucalyptus trees.
We’re left to wonder whether the avenging Narwhal will turn on humans, perhaps in retribution for anthropogenic climate change—the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer within 30 years, according to a study published earlier this month.
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive the best stories from Smithsonian.com each week.