Alaska

Humpback whales revel in Alaska's cruise-free summer

It’s been a quiet summer in the waters of Alaska.

With zero cruise ships carrying whale-watchers and glacier gazers—a situation which temporarily boosts the state’s population of 730,000 by 1.4m individuals—the humpback whales in the vicinity have grown much more talkative.

This is the impression that delighted researchers are getting.

Salmon Sharks of Alaska

Salmon sharks lack a nictitating membrane, so their eyes can be seen following a subject, Port Fidalgo, Alaska, USA. Photo by Jennifer Idol.
Salmon sharks lack a nictitating membrane, so their eyes can be seen following a subject, Port Fidalgo, Alaska, USA. Photo by Jennifer Idol.

Sharks elicit strong emotions, be it the thrill of a planned encounter underwater or fear propelled by social media and lack of information. Of the more than 400 species of sharks, it is the small family of mackerel sharks that is most iconic. These sharks prompted me to share why one of them, the salmon shark, is an especially remarkable species.