Conjoined Porpoise Twins Found in North Sea

The phenomenon of conjoined twins is well-known among humans and other animals. There are often news reports of life-saving surgeries undertaken to separate and save conjoined children. And oddity museums like Ripley’s usually contain pictures or models of conjoined animals like two-headed calves. A recent discovered instance of this condition is even more rare and less well-understood than its occurrence among land mammals.

In May 2017, some Dutch fishermen who were working in the North Sea caught something rather unexpected. When they pulled in their nets, they found that they had snared a set of conjoined newborn twin harbor porpoises. The twin sea mammals had two heads and shared one body, but they were already dead when they were pulled from the sea.

Unfortunately, the fishermen threw the rare specimen back into the sea because they were afraid it would be illegal to keep it. They did at least manage to take some photos of the porpoises before discarding them, though, to prove the truth of what they saw.

This was a loss for science, since there have only been nine other documented cases of conjoined twins in the cetacean species, which consists of porpoises, dolphins, and whales. This was also the first ever recorded case of conjoined twinning in this particular species of porpoise. Even cases of normal twins in these animals are extremely rare, since the wombs of their mothers are typically not large enough to support twins.

Some researchers have expressed dismay at the loss of such an interesting specimen, though they have been able to gather some information from the photos. In one picture, an umbilical opening can clearly be seen, which is evidence that the animals died shortly after birth and were not killed due to being caught in fishing nets. The mammals’ dorsal fins had also not risen yet, meaning they had just been born when they died. In addition, they still had tiny hairs on their faces which are typically lost shortly after birth.

It would have been nearly impossible for any cetacean conjoined in this way to have survived long after birth. The mammals have to be able to swim as soon as they are born in order to live. Due to the abnormalities that would have been present in their shared spinal column, these porpoises probably would not have been able to swim at all and would have quickly drowned. Their single, shared heart also probably could not pump blood adequately enough to keep them alive.

Next Article
  • Saving A Whole Village With Rainbow Art

    Everyone loves a rainbow, the beautiful colors and different hues always make you smile. And that is what one Taiwanese pensioner thought when he made a desperate attempt to save his village. Armed with only a paintbrush, 93-year old Huang Yung-Fu turned his town into a vibrant rainbow and in the process saved it from...

    Read More
  • Evidence Of A Destroyed Planet Found

    Billions of years ago it seems our solar system actually had another planet spinning around in it. This long destroyed planet would have existed only during the very start of our solar systems creation. In 2008, an asteroid exploded into the Sudan desert on October 7th and with it came...

    Read More
  • Huge Poop Train Stuck Outside Small Alabama Town

    In a strange situation that is just asking to be explained, sources have revealed a huge train filled with human excrement is stranded outside a small town in Alabama. Apparently, the poop train is wafting smelly fumes for miles and locals are beginning to wonder whenever this nightmare may end. ...

    Read More
  • French Strongman Who Broke Out Of Prison With His Bare Hands

    There is one French strongman that goes down in the books as having undeniable strength and determination: his name is Charles Rigoulet. Not only was he breaking numerous weightlifting records all over the world, he won a gold medal in the 1942 Summer Olympics. And if that was not enough? He was also an actor,...

    Read More
  • Medieval Norwegians Liked To Cheat At Dice

    Recently a specially designed dice was found in Norway: it did not have a number one or a number two. Looks like a fixed dice to do some cheating in gambling, but the real stunner was that this wooden dice was 600 years old! A specially designed dice for cheating...

    Read More
  • Extraordinary Photo Of A Humpback Whale Sneezing A Rainbow

    At the end of every rainbow, you will find a pot of gold… or was it a humpback whale? The following photo hit the internet last week from the California wildlife photographer who had the instinct to take his shot at the exact moment. So we now know that there is at least one rainbow...

    Read More
  • Vikings Discovered Canada By Mistake

    New research has jumped to the conclusion that the Vikings were probably sailing to Greenland when they arrived in Canada by error. The mysterious crystal called “sunstones” used to guide them at the time, and it looks like someone was not watching his sunlight correctly. Sunstones the crystals that split...

    Read More