Japan’s Scientific Research Program Still Yet To Uncover Why Whales Die When Speared With A Giant Harpoon

japanese whaling satire

After decades of research, Japanese scientists are no closer to discovering why whales suddenly die when tracked down, surrounded and then shot with an explosive-tipped harpoon.

“It’s a phenomenon that’s baffled us to date,” said Hayato Takahashi, one of Japan’s chief whale scientists. “Every time we shoot a whale with a harpoon, it dies. That’s why our ongoing scientific research program is so important – to crack this mystery once and for all”.

Mr Takahashi said that while progress was being made, realistically it would be a long time before the phenomenon was truly understood.

For more, follow The Shovel on Facebook & Twitter & Instagram, or subscribe for emails below.


  1. Santiago Castro

    January 8, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Is this a joke ?

    • bjering

      January 8, 2014 at 8:40 am

      “Australia’s second favourite source of satire, after Today Tonight.”

    • Dale Duddridge

      January 8, 2014 at 10:01 am

      It’s Satire, look it up.

    • Phil deCube

      January 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Yes Santiago. See at the top, on the right, where it says “Australia’s second favourite source of satire, after Today Tonight”? It’s a satire website.

      Noun: satire
      1. Witty language used to convey insults or scorn, esp. saying one thing but implying the opposite

  2. Mark Calland

    January 8, 2014 at 4:31 am

    It’s funny how Australia is killing great white sharks

  3. Usephalus

    January 8, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Stupid Japanese scientists

  4. Chuck Peters

    January 8, 2014 at 5:29 am

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Good on you, shovel!

  5. poopman

    January 8, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Sounds like this article was trying to be the onion

    • Astro Boy

      January 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

      The Onion didn’t invent satire.

    • Meriwether Winterbottoms

      January 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Sounds like this comment was trying to be pretentious.

      • Lachlan Easton

        January 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm

        Sounds like this comment is trying to be meta

      • David

        January 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        Sounds like this comment was trying to be the last word

  6. fraudi mcfaker

    January 8, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Sounds like I’m reading all of your comments in Morgan Freemans voice… in my mind…

    • Peter N April

      January 9, 2014 at 3:26 am

      Andy Dufresne never spoke of what happened when The Sisters attacked him in the storeroom of the prison laundry…….

  7. KiraKrumpet

    January 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Japan’s research: to factually show that certain species of whale can be hunted sustainably. Like minke. Which they have overwhelmingly proven. Yet the anti-hunting nuts still flat out deny certain species can be hunted and refuse to agree to sustainable hunting regulations.

    Which is ODD, since the DEFINING GOAL of the international organizations that “govern” this practice was SPECIFICALLY to allow whale stocks to return to a level where they can be hunted sustainably.

    I’m pretty sure it’s not the Japanese that have their heads up their asses.

    • Adrian Baxt-Dent

      January 8, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Cool!! Can you add references, so people can see the facts for themselves?

      • peter

        January 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm

        nice!! show us the facts, especially if you feel so strongly, rather than just ranting. You obviously care enough to take the time to reply. Take the time to back it up. It should be good for all, if you are right.

  8. Ariele

    January 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    TO Kira who is pro whaling… Japanese whalers are slaughtering whales in a whale SANCTUARY .

    • Yorkeys85

      January 9, 2014 at 8:10 am

      As far as the Japanese are concerned, their research is being conducted in international waters, as they don’t recognise Australia’s territorial claim in the southern ocean, nor the whale sanctuary. I think the annual hunts are as much about thumbing their noses at our attempt to flex diplomatic muscle as much as anything else.

    • KiraKrumpet

      January 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Ariele, no they are not. It may come as a surprise to ignorant people who don’t understandstand how international law works but Australia going “yup wes own all this now” doesn’t work for INTERNATIONAL WATERS. The Japanese are NOT hunting in either Australian waters or a make-believe unrecognized “whale sanctuary”. It holds as much weight as it’s laughable claim to the Antarctic. It is INTERNATIONAL waters and there’s not a damn illegal thing about it. Australia’s own foreign minister all but told the PM to shut the fuck up when the morons of SeaShephard (who ran ships and throw acid at people and then complain about their arrests as “illlegl”) took “secret” pictures of the public hunt in International Waters and the PM wanted to take Japan to the ICC.

      You might not like whale hunting but there’s nothing illegal about it. And since whale hunting was stopped SPECIFICALLY to allow whale stocks to return to a sustainable level so they could be hunted again, it’s pretty damn ridiculous that people insist on some ignorant, romanticized notion that whale hunting “omgz can’t happen”.

      Smart environmentalists would be vigerously attempting to regulate whale hunting like fishing quotas and stock protection. Environmentalists with even the remotest intelligence would be workubgr with whaling nations to watch stocks and maintain sustainability. Instead we have idiots carrying on about make believe sanctuaries, buying land locked nations votes against whaling, ignoring the laws that created the IWC and flat out refusing to accept the fact that some whale species can be hunted sustainably.

      All you do is isolate these whaling nations from regulation. Since they damn well don’t have any reason presented by people like you to stop.

      • Paikea

        January 23, 2014 at 10:32 am

        If they want to conduct scientific research on whales – let them do it off the coast of Japan. The Antractic area which they hunt in are not international waters at all but a purposefully defined whale sanctuary set up in the Southern ocean for Australia’s Whales. Sure Japan disregards this claim and that’s why they are there – thankfully Sea Shepherd is there each and every year as well. I assume by the ICC you mean the International criminal court – as you understand International law you would know we are waiting for the decision from the International court of Justice instead – and just because minke whales may have recovered doesnt mean they need to be killed each and every year under the banner of “scientific research”.

  9. Gabe

    January 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    I wonder what happens when you shoot a Japanese scientist with a harpoon?

  10. Melissa Pomeroy

    January 9, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Gabe, I’m not sure.. but it will definitely take decades of research to figure it out

  11. Wong Batavia

    January 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Which is why whale killing is called scientific research. Why then did we have Nuremberg trials for the Nazies when they conducted scientific experiments on Jews?

  12. uloola

    January 17, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Why don’t those nasty nipponese leave the people of Whales alone.It’s only a small country and the people are very friendly,their life is very hard as they eke out an existence eating Leeks and chasing an oval ball around a field.
    Perhaps it is because they don’t like it when their choirs sing their world famous Whale song,but that’s no reason to stick big harpoons in them.
    I have written to Prince Charles about this outrage and he assures me he is very angry about the whole affair and he is going to tell his Mum.
    The Whales folk have taken to hiding down disused coal mines whenever the mother ship sails up the Bristol Channel.
    The latest tactic the defenceless Whales people have tried is to erect a huge sign on the English side of the Channel saying “Welcome to Whales”.This appears to be working.
    Sir Tom Jones has burnt an effigy of a Toyota Corolla and Prince Charles has vowed never to get drunk on Saki again.