Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Killer Whales Sink Yacht in Strait of Gibraltar... Again

It's starting to feel personal.

By Cassidy Ward
Three Orcas GETTY

Boats only float through careful engineering and exploitation of physics. Despite being made of heavy materials, their shape allows them to displace water and remain buoyant, but only if hull integrity is maintained. Anyone who has ever played Battleship or seen the movie adaptation (streaming now on Peacock) knows that if you do enough damage, water seeps in and the whole endeavor sinks into the deep.

As far as we know, killer whales have never seen nor played Battleship, but they still seem to have gotten the message. Just in case you thought the orca wars were over, a pod of killer whales recently sank a yacht off the coast of Morocco after a nearly hour-long assault.

Orcas Sink Yacht in Strait of Gibraltar, the Fourth in Two Years

The latest orca offensive on human watercraft took place on Halloween and involved an unknown number of animals. The orcas attacked the rutter of the boat, first disabling it and later doing enough damage to the hull that it began taking on water. All passengers were safely rescued from the vessel, but it sank while being towed into the port of Tanger-Med.

RELATED: A Couple of Killer Whales are Hunting Great White Sharks and Eating Their Organs

The vessel, dubbed Grazie Mamma, was a mid-sized yacht owned by the Polish cruise company Morski Mile. The company shared details of the incident in a Facebook post. This latest sinking is the fourth to occur in the Strait of Gibraltar over the last two years, undertaken by at least two different groups of killer whales.

A pod of orcas in the Straight of Gibraltar

It’s unclear what spawned the recent spate of nautical attacks but it’s likely a learned behavior. Orcas are well known for having a culture and fads, which spread throughout their populations. Decades ago, the prevailing style for orcas was to swim around with dead fish on their heads. Today, they’re sinking boats.

RELATED: Killer Whales Turn the Tide and Start Hunting Boats

Of course, it could be worse. Orcas are intelligent animals capable of understanding to at least some degree when they are being threatened. In other parts of the world, killer whales respond to the threat of Great Whites by eviscerating them, eating their organs, and leaving their corpses to wash up on the beach. Given the level of damage killer whales are capable of, a little rutter damage and a few sunk ships might be a small price to pay for our crimes against cetaceans.

If the orcas want the Strait of Gibraltar, maybe we should give it to them before someone gets hurt. In the meantime, catch Battleship streaming now on Peacock.

Read more about: