Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


Video: A large pod of pilot whales visit the residents of Iceland's most remote village

By Staff

  • A Pilot Whale Pod Locals have counted at least 30 individuals in the pod. Photo/Hulda Björk, Facebook.

The residents of Norðurfjörður village and surrounding countryside in the remote Strandir region on the west coast of the Westfjords, were visited late last night by a large pod of pilot whales. The pod counts at least 30 individuals. Pilot whales are a relatively uncommon sight in Icelandic fjords, as the animals tend to keep at a greater depth when in Icelandic waters.

Read more: Video: A humpback whale rocks a boat

Biologists have no explanation for why pilot whales sometimes swim close to shore. The whales don't seem to be searching for food, as pilot whales hunt squid which stays at greater depths. The last visit by pilot whales to Norðurfjörður fjord was in early summer in 2014. Then as now the whales swam right up to the shore. Several other instances of pilot whales swimming close to shore have been recorded in the past five years. 

A local woman, Hulda Björk Þórisdóttir, who is the store manager at the local coop, filmed the pod playing in the fjord. When the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service talked to Hulda this afternoon the whales were still swimming in the fjord, right in front of the coop. Local fishermen took the village kids out to say hello to the whales, and judging by Hulda's videos and photos the kids loved every second!



Pilot Whales, Norðurfjörður

Whale watching The local kids on their way to check out the whales Photo/Hulda Björk, Facebook


Pilot Whales, Norðurfjörður
The pod The whale pod was first spotted late last night. Photo/Hulda Björk, Facebook


Pilot Whales, Norðurfjörður
The pod The whales have been swimming back and forth in formation. Photo/Hulda Björk, Facebook


Pilot Whales, Norðurfjörður
Magical The landscape and the remoteness makes Norðurfjörður one of the most fascinating places to visit in Iceland. Photo/Hulda Björk, Facebook


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