If you weren’t convinced before that almost anything can be accomplished through crowdsourcing, this should more or less do it for you: finding an image on Flickr, a whale scientist was able to track an unprecidented 6,000 mile ocean journey of a single humpback whale.
Whale #1363 was first spotted by scientists in 1999 off the coast of Brazil. However, Gail McCullough, who was searching Flickr (i.e. from the crowd) for pictures of whales, spotted the distinct fluke (or tail, none of which are exactly alike) of whale #1363 in a photo taken off of the coast of Madagascar in 2001, 6,000 miles away.
The second photo, however, wasn’t uploaded to Flickr until 2009, which is when McCullough saw it, matched it to one taken in 1999, and then passed it onto other whale experts that were amazed at the discovery.
Both places where the female whale was spotted were breeding grounds, which apparently is the first time scientists have seen this kind and especially length of migration. You can read more about the specifics of the science in the Boston Globe article if you’re interested.
Pssst, hey you!
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