A white beluga whale, which is alleged to be the same “Russian spy” mammal that was sighted last week in Norwegian waters, has been filmed rescuing a woman’s dropped iPhone from the ocean and giving it back to her.
Isa Opdahl was reportedly on a boat with her friends in Hammerfest, Norway, when her device plunged into the water, but it was quickly saved by the whale, which slowly surfaced from the depths holding the handset in its mouth. All Opdahl had to do was just to grab the phone from the whale’s mouth.
The unbelievable footage was posted on her Instagram, with the caption “When animals are kinder than humans”.
It has prompted speculation that the whale is the same creature spotted by local fishermen last week, ostensibly wearing a harness with the inscription “Equipment of St. Petersburg” and a mount for a GoPro camera.
A number of media outlets and marine biologists claimed that the mammal could have been trained by the Russian military as a “spy”, and some even dubbed the creature Hvaldimir (“Whaledimir”) in a somewhat awkward nod to Vladimir Putin.
As soon as the video emerged online, it made a huge splash: while some focused on the fact that the “rescue operation” was just incredible…
He’s totally like “where the F is my fish reward”— Enrico VanDam BamBam (@mpdivo) 7 мая 2019 г.
Humans just cant stop dropping stuff to the sea, smh pic.twitter.com/tzAivtVJWn— eevee the best starter (@kreyotix) 6 мая 2019 г.
I think some #Animals are much smarter than we realize!— Nicholas J. Chase (@Master_N_Chase) 5 мая 2019 г.
…others held on to the “Russian spy” theory, suggesting that the beluga could have extracted Opdahl’s phone data before returning it:
Probably the Beluga was trained by Russia and extracted your data before handling it to you https://t.co/25RKhfVgxl— romano (@romainlatin) 7 мая 2019 г.
I'm not saying it's Russian….. but it's Russian— James Bryant (@Mratoz69) 6 мая 2019 г.
Plot twist: The whale installed a bunch of spyware before returning the phone and is now blackmailing her for fish.— चौकीदार अन्टाइटल्ड (@7wi773rk4b374) 6 мая 2019 г.
Russia at work again!!— david labatte (@DavidLabatte) 7 мая 2019 г.
As the speculation grows, the Russian military has still remained tight-lipped about whether the mammal actually is a Russian asset, while retired colonel Viktor Baranets has called the spying allegations “Scandinavian paranoia”.
“Norwegians would probably also like to have a GRU officer’s ID attached to the animal”, he said.