Recently, it was discovered that whale burps were discovered along Minnesota’s north shore near Duluth.
My first reaction to hearing this story on the radio was “what the hell is a whale burp?” Well, it is not a few air bubble that rise up and pollute the air with the smell of Old Milwaukee and Beer Nuts. That was my first guess, or at least what I hoped it was, but I guess I was wrong. “Whale burps”, also called “Surf balls” (which brings up a whole other set of hilariously odd visuals), are quite simply balls of vegetation and debris that wash up on shore.
The balls found in Duluth contained natural items, but also plastic and unnatural waste. Obviously, if these whale burps are containing plastic, it is not great for the environment and would appear that these burps are nature’s way of trying to get rid of its debris. That they are only now appearing in Lake Superior is concerning to me and wonder if this is just a random occurrence or if it is a symptom of too much garbage in Lake Superior.
I am not sure what the ramifications of “whale burps” are on the environment and not even sure if they really mean anything, but that our lakes and oceans are spitting out debris is certainly something to be concerned about.