The orca, or "killer whale", needs no introduction. These iconic mammals, which are actually a type of dolphin, are one of the most recognisable creatures in the ocean and also one of the most intelligent. Its this intelligence that makes orcas as terrifying as they are beautiful. They have been observed engaging in a number of remarkable techniques for catching seals. One such method involves swimming in formation towards an ice float in order to create a powerful wave that knocks off unfortunate victims. Other orcas beach themselves to catch newborns, before thrashing their way back to the water. Worse still, an ill-fated seal that ends up in the jaws of a killer whale will then probably find itself being hurled around and head-butted, as these apex predators prefer to disable their prey before tucking in. Theyve even been known to suffocate great white sharks, holding them in place so that oxygenated water doesnt move through their gills. Thats equal parts ingenious and ballsy as hell. But how dangerous are orcas around humans? Well, there have been a handful of attacks in the wild but none of them ended in death and all evidence suggests that the victims had simply been misidentified as seals. However, captive orcas have attacked (and in some cases killed) humans on so many occasions that theres a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to the topic. The long and short is that killer whales arent inherently dangerous around humans, despite the name weve given them, on the condition that, you know, we dont take them from their families and stick them in tiny concrete pools so that they can jump for our entertainment. Id say thats pretty reasonable.
Peter Austin initially joined WhatCulture as an occasional contributor to our Film, Gaming and Science sections, but made the mistake of telling us that he'd been making videos in his bedroom for over a decade. Since then he's been a vital member of our YouTube team and routinely sets the standard for smart-casual wear in the office.