Bálna Öböl, Oroszország

Bay of Whales


The area around Russia’s Ulbanskiy Bay is mostly uninhabited by humans, but it does support sizable numbers of whales. In

summertime, this bay is a feeding ground for bowheads, belugas, and orcas that come to Ulbanskiy for the seafood buffet. They

hunt by driving fish like herring and smelt toward the coast and into freshwater inlets.

Onshore, freshwater streams meander into marshlands and gently sloped mud flats. The marshes around the bay are dotted with

small bodies of water. These are likely thermokarst lakes—pools of water that fill in depressions in the land surface as permafrost

melts. Farther inland, the incline becomes steeper and the landscape darker with the greens of pine-covered slopes. A lighter green

band (left side) indicates deciduous (leaf-shedding) trees that have begun to turn color.