VIDEO: A whale in Dubai Marina?
A video of a whale breaching the water in Dubai Marina has gone viral on social media, with many people retweeting the clip. But has another large mammal found itself stuck in the marina, or is it a hoax?
Although whales do sometimes breach water as they swim, it looks like the video is part of a marketing campaign, making light of the excitement surrounding a whale shark which was spotting swimming around Dubai Marina last summer. Visa Middle East launched the clip as part of their #ImpossibleDubai competition, which gives customers the chance to win “impossible” prizes.
— Visa Middle East (@Visamiddleeast) January 7, 2016
The campaign was launched for Dubai Shopping Festival, with the idea to make the impossible possible between January 1 and February 1.
The viral video plays on the hype that surrounded the so-called “Marina Shark”, who was trapped in Dubai Marina for a short time last summer. The shark attracted crowds of viewers and even had a parody Twitter account.
Despite the excitement, we spoke to experts who told us that these sightings are common. Steve Kaiser, VP of Marine Sciences & Engineering at Atlantis, The Palm, said that unscheduled visits are nothing remarkable. “We’ve seen many instances of this in the past with marine wildlife (especially whales and sharks) entering the marina because of its proximity to the open sea,” he said.
What is strange about Dubai’s whale shark sightings, is that they usually live in extremely deep (and cold!) water. Steve comments that it’s possible for sharks to suffer heatstroke, though he assures that most of the time they move on pretty quickly.
While there have been numerous sightings of whale sharks in and around the UAE’s coastline, we’re yet to hear of a whale being stuck in the marina… Although the hoax video does look extremely real.