Iceland Is Home to the World's First Open-Water Beluga Whale Sanctuary

After spending their lives performing in captivity, a pair of beluga whales is returning to their natural arctic ocean habitat. As Thrillist reports, Little Grey and Little White will be the first two residents of a new beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland—the first open-water beluga sanctuary in the world.

The two belugas are both females born about 12 years ago. They were taken from their native waters near Russia when they were babies and transported to Shanghai's Changfeng Ocean World—a Sea World-like attraction where marine animals perform for entertainment. Sea Life Trust, the organization behind the new whale sanctuary, has spent seven years organizing the animals' journey to Iceland, and on June 19, they will finally arrive in their new home.

The beluga whale sanctuary is located in Klettsvik Bay on Heimaey Island off Iceland's southern coast. Little Grey and Little White will have a 34,455-square-foot, 30-foot-deep area of open ocean to explore. The water temperatures will also be much closer to what belugas are naturally adapted to, but after spending so much time in China, they whales need acclimate to their frigid new habitat. Currently weighing about 2000 pounds apiece, the belugas are being given extra food to help them bulk up.

Instead of viewing them behind the glass walls of a tank, visitors to the sanctuary will be able to see the whales in their natural environment. From August 1 to October 30, boats will take tourists around the bay where the whales live. Tickets start around $50.

The star residents haven't arrived yet, but the whale sanctuary officially opened this spring. The attraction is also home to a visitors center with an aquarium and a puffin sanctuary, both of which are now open to the public.

[h/t Thrillist]

Learn Travel Blogging, Novel Writing, Editing, and More With This $30 Creative Writing Course Bundle

Centre of Excellence
Centre of Excellence

It seems like everyone is a writer lately, from personal blog posts to lengthy Instagram captions. How can your unique ideas stand out from the clutter? These highly reviewed courses in writing for travel blogs, novel writing, and even self-publishing are currently discounted and will teach you just that. The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle is offering 10 courses for $29.99, which are broken down into 422 bite-sized lessons to make learning manageable and enjoyable.

Access your inner poet or fiction writer and learn to create compelling works of literature from home. Turn that passion into a business through courses that teach the basics of setting up, hosting, and building a blog. Then, the social media, design, and SEO lessons will help distinguish your blog.

Once you perfect your writing, the next challenge is getting that writing seen. While the bundle includes lessons in social media and SEO, it also includes a self-publishing course to take things into your own hands to see your work in bookshops. You’ll learn to keep creative control and royalties with lessons on the basics of production, printing, proofreading, distribution, and marketing efforts. The course bundle also includes lessons in freelance writing that teach how to make a career working from home.

If you’re more of an artistic writer, the calligraphy course will perfect your classical calligraphy scripts to confidently shape the thick and thin strokes of each letter. While it can definitely be a therapeutic hobby, it’s also a great side-hustle. Create your own designs and make some extra cash selling them as wedding placards or wall art.

Take your time perfecting your craft with lifetime access to the 10 courses included in The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle. At the discounted price of $29.99, you’ll have spent more money on the coffee you’re sipping while you write your next novel than the courses themselves.


The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle - $29.99

See Deal

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

Like babies, dogs can be hard to read in the medical ailment department. Are they listless because they’re tired, or because they’re sick? What’s behind their whining? And can they suffer that most human of debilitating conditions, the headache?

Gizmodo polled several veterinarians and animal behavior specialists to find out, and the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Although a dog can’t express discomfort in a specific way, particularly if it doesn’t involve limping, animal experts know that canines that have diagnosed brain tumors or encephalitis can also be observed to have a high heart rate, a sign of physical pain. According to Tim Bentley, an associate professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at Purdue Veterinary Medicine, administering painkillers will bring a dog’s heart rate down. If signs of physical distress also decrease, a headache was likely involved.

Unfortunately, not all dogs may offer overt signals they’re feeling some brain pain. According to Adam Boyko, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, dogs instinctively try to mask pain to avoid showing weakness.

Ultimately, dogs have many of the same central neural pathways as humans, which can likely go awry in some of the same ways. But the kind of persistent headaches owing to head colds or hangovers are probably rare in dogs. And while it goes without saying, they definitely don't need any of your Advil.

[h/t Gizmodo]