Heavy Metal Music Doesn’t Stop Killer Whales from Attacking Boats

A recent spate of orca attacks on boats around Spain and Portugal led one crew to blast heavy metal music as a means of defense. Unfortunately for the crew, the killer whales were undeterred.

Florian Rutsch, captain of a catamaran sailing across the Strait of Gibraltar, detailed an experience in which he and his crew tried to fend off the whales with metal music. He told the New York Times that they blasted a Spotify playlist called “Metal for Orcas” underwater, but ended up getting pummeled by the large sea beasts, who damaged the boat’s rudder, knocking it out of commission. Fortunately, everyone in the crew was rescued, and the boat was eventually towed back to shore in Spain.

The “Metal for Orcas” playlist is no joke, featuring songs by extreme bands like Dying Fetus, Aborted, and Abominable Putridity. Yet, it was no match for the killer whales.

Business Insider followed up the New York Times article by speaking with Andrew Trites, marine mammal research unit director at the University of British Columbia. He explained, “Initially, the playing of loud sounds underwater might mask the signature sounds of sailboats — but ultimately, the whales would catch on and use it to more easily locate vessels playing it.”

He continued, “The biggest problem with blasting music underwater of any kind is that it is ultimately just adding more noise pollution to the ocean, which can have detrimental effects on other marine life.”

The orca attacks have been taking place regularly since 2020, but no humans have been killed in any of the incidents. According to experts quoted earlier this year by The Guardian, the orcas may simply be trying to play with the boats.

Check out footage of an orca snapping off the rudder of a yacht near the Strait of Gibraltar below, followd by the “Metal for Orcas” playlist.