In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their study, which included tagging whales and monitoring their behavior when exposed to artificial sonar signals.
In recent years, some groups have suggested that an apparent increase in the numbers of whales beaching themselves is due to exposure to mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS), but it has remained unclear how such an association could result in whales beaching themselves. More recently, researchers found that many whales stranded on beaches had gas bubble-associated lesions and fat emboli that were similar in nature to those seen in human divers that submerge too long or surface too rapidly. This led the researchers to consider the possibility that the whales have been beaching themselves due to decompression sickness, aka “the bends.”
Photo: Dan Shapiro/NOAA/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)