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Surges of solar activity may cause whales to run aground, possibly by disrupting the creatures' internal compass, German scientists suggest.
University of Kiel researchers Klaus Vaneslow and Klaus Ricklefs looked at sightings of sperm whales found beached in the North Sea between 1712 and 2003.
They then compared this record with another set of historical data - astronomers' observations of sunspots, which is an indicator of solar radiation.
More whale strandings occurred when the sun's activity is high, they found.
Mike Meyer of Marine and Coastal Management told the SAPA news agency that the two-year-old whale had become stranded in shallow water at Mnandi Beach on Cape Town's False Bay coast after an apparent "navigational error".
It was discovered by a solitary jogger, but a stranded whale was soon surrounded by a crowd of hundreds who helped in a "textbook" rescue in the Bay of Plenty yesterday.
The 4m whale, believed to be a minke, was found stranded in the Ohiwa Harbour, south of Whakatane, early in the day. It had swum 5km up the harbour and got stuck in sand close to shore
Anchorage, Alaska - A major power outage is affecting parts of Anchorage tonight. Thousands of homes are in the dark from South Anchorage all the way to Eagle River.
According to Gary Fife at Municipal Light and Power, dispatch operators are telling him Chugach Electric's Beluga River installation lost a generator tonight. That caused a domino affect with several other substations shutting down.
Fife says the entire Southcentral inter-tie was affected, with upwards of 10,000 customers affected. Fife calls it a big hit. He says power to ML&P customers was restored at 9:03 p.m., but he is not sure about Chugach Electric customers.
There has been no word from officials at Chugach Electric on what caused the outage.