As a theologian and researcher, I have encountered several religious and cultural beliefs about the orcas. Tlingit and Haida Native American beliefs on orcas triggered my interest in studying about them.
I learned about cultural beliefs about orcas when I lived with Tlingit and Haida Native Americans for six months and read the book “Listening to Whales: What the Orcas Have Taught Us” by Alexandra Morton.
During our last theology session last semester, we were discussing about various cultural beliefs about animals, and one of the students asked whether there are people who consider orcas evil.
Having studied about orcas and such beliefs, I had all the answers.
So, are orcas evil?
The Bible does not say whether orcas are good or bad. When God created sea animals, as recorded in Genesis 1:20-21, he said they were good, and we can conclude that orcas are good. Most cultural and religious beliefs consider orcas to be good. Most Native American tribes, especially those living on the Northwest Coast, consider orcas to be good because it is a crucial medicine. The Tlingit believe orcas are protectors of humans. Others, such as the Kwakiutl tribes, believe that the orcas are spirits of brave marine hunters.
In this article, we will discuss why orcas have a bad reputation and whether they can be friendly to humans. We will also find out several reasons why orcas are considered evil.
To learn these and more, continue reading.
Why do orcas have a bad reputation?
Orcas’ bad reputation may have been a result of the 1977 movie titled “Orca: The Killer Whale .”In this movie, an orca was on a revenge mission against humans who had killed its friends and an unborn calf.
The orca was displayed as fierce, vengeful, and dangerous towards humans. Therefore, people developed a bad perception of the orcas.
Some people believe that orcas have a bad reputation because they are the apex predators, earning themselves the term killer whales. The orcas are excellent hunters and predate on most fishes, including sharks.
Due to their hunting abilities and predation of most sea animals, some people see them as dangerous. They fear them and even think that they can eat humans, even though there are rare incidences of orcas eating humans.
The bad reputation may also be because they ram on boats. There have been several reports that orcas have developed a habit of ramming on boats and causing damage.
It is reported that they do so until they destroy the rudder. Although such endangers people’s lives, they are believed to do it just for fun rather than hostility or aggression.
Can orcas be friendly to humans?
According to animal research, orcas are friendly to humans. Although humans capture them for their meat, orcas show no hostility or aggression toward them.
Most marine researchers say that it is rare for orcas to attack a human while in the ocean.
In a YouTube video, Captain Drake documents eight encounters with the orca that prove that they can be friendly to humans.
In one of the instances, three orcas playfully followed a speed boat and left the humans to touch them before they dived. Such instances show that orcas can be friendly to humans.
Two Reasons Why Orcas Are Considered Evil
Their scientific name
Depiction from mythology
Although most mythologies depicted orcas as good animals, some mythologies portrayed orcas as evil. For instance, there are stories from the Haida people that say that orcas used to abduct women from the coast and marry them in orca villages in the sea.
Such stories may have led some people to perceive orcas as evil.
What to do if an orca approaches you?
When the orca approaches you, it is advisable to get out of the water. Although orcas do not prey on human and are not aggressive towards them, their massive size pose a danger.
Blushing against them or a flap of their tail may hurt you. If on a boat, they may playfully ram on its side, posing a significant danger.
Remaining calm is also a good strategy to avoid attack when orca approaches you. Orcas are protective and may attack humans if they perceive them to pose a danger to them, their mates, or calf.
Remaining calm assures them that you pose no danger.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.