How do beaked whales avoid the bends?

What causes decompression sickness, commonly referred to as the bends, which is the biggest threat to divers in the sea?

How does the body react when a diver ascends to the surface too quickly?

What precautions must be taken to avoid the bends?

While even professional scuba divers cannot always protect themselves from the bends, how is it that beaked whales can   dive thousands of meters into the oceans depths without encountering any problems?

These qualities of the beaked whales are further evidence for the magnificent creation of Allah, and are yet another disappointment for evolutionists.

Research has revealed that beaked whales can dive deeper and for longer than all air-breathing animals. More interestingly, during these deep dives in search of food, beaked whales never suffered from the bends. For a human being, diving deep into the ocean is impossible due to the danger of the bends. However the beaked  whales are masters of deep dives and never  run into any difficulties. This has naturally evoked great curiosity among  scientists, and led them to research the beaked  whales’ amazing creation that protects them from .the bends.

Why is the bends such a great danger?

The greatest danger for the divers in the sea is suffering from decompression sickness, because the respiratory and circulatory systems of the human body were created by All-Mighty Allah for living on land. According to the measure set by our Lord, the atmospheric pressure which is one atmosphere at sea level, and  is perfectly ideal for human life, increases by one degree in every ten  meters of depth in the sea. For example the water pressure at thirty meters is three atmospheres, in other words, the pressure of the water on every square centimeter of a diver is three times more than the pressure at the waters surface, or on dry land.

When a human dives thirty meters deep in the ocean without using any special tools;

The capacity of the lungs will reduce by one fourth (25%).

The blood pressure will increase.

The pulse rate will increase because the body temperature drops.

He will have problems with maintaining consciousness.

For these reasons, it is very dangerous to dive deeper than thirty  meters without using specialized  equipment. The beaked whales on the other hand, can easily dive to a depth of thirty to eighty meters repeatedly. Since they breathe using their lungs, one would expect them to suffer from the bends. But there is no such risk for these animals, and they can dive as deep as 1900 meters, for even as long as 85 minutes. 1900 meters is the deepest and longest dive ever  recorded amongst  mammalians..

How does human body react in case of swift ascend to the surface?

The liquid nitrogen in the blood of a diver that quickly ascends to the surface turns into a gas by the effect of the sudden pressure change. This can be compared to a fizzy drink getting bubbly when it is opened after being shaken.  

The nitrogen molecules, now in the form of gas, come together, and cause bubbles in the joints, veins, heart, brain and other tissues. The bubbles in the body, depending on the severity of the sickness, can cause severe pain, vein blockages, rupture of the lungs, paralysis and even death.

Why is it important to ascend to the surface slowly?

When inhaled under pressure and for extended periods of time, nitrogen gas (N2), the gas with the highest percentage in compressed air (78%), dissolves into the bloodstream. This gas is not used like oxygen. While going up to the surface, the diver must take time to dispose of it through respiration. Since in deep diving, the outer pressure is high, gases inside the air inhaled from the oxygen tank, like oxygen and nitrogen, spread to the tissues in smaller volumes. If the diver swims up to the surface too rapidly, these gases will expand quickly with the reducing pressure. So the divers must ascend to the surface slowly (10 m/min, and the last 10 m at 6 m/min).

The beaked whales have the same knowledge with scuba divers

Due to these risks, scuba divers are trained comprehensively in basic diving rules and safety limits. The beaked whale, on the other hand, is never trained in the ways to avoid the bends. However they almost ‘know’ that they will suffer from the bends if they ascend too quickly.

Beaked whales, after making a deep dive, don’t ascend too quickly to the surface, but on the contrary, they swim very slowly towards the sea surface. But what is the reason behind this slow swimming of these animals? There can only be one reason: to protect themselves from decompression sickness.

No doubt, an animal without a mind or consciousness, cannot take measures against the bends of its own accord. It is the All-mighty Allah that inspires in this animal the measures it has to take to protect itself. In the Surat al-Jathiyya, All-Mighty Allah states that we have to ponder over the miraculous features of the animals:


And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are signs for people with certainty. (Surat al-Jathiyya, 4)

The amazing creation of the beaked whales lungs that prevent the bends

The lungs of beaked whales are created with a special structure, in accordance with the pressure which exists deep in the sea. The gases such as oxygen and nitrogen that the whale inhales before diving, spread to the tissues with smaller volumes, but when the whale heads back to the surface, they expand quickly in the veins. The lungs contract in the process, preventing the gas, and especially the nitrogen, from getting into the blood circulation, and thus prevent the risk of the bends. This amazing quality of the lungs is surely the evidence of the amazing creation of All-mighty Allah. This flawless creation art and power of All-Mighty Allah is explained in one Qur'an verse, as follows:


He is Allah – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr, 24)


Whales also have a complex sight and communication systems. The eyes of whales have a special, hard layer that protects the eyes from the pressures of the deep. Also the refraction index in the eyes of whales allows an Orca to jump out of a pool to catch a fish that is six meters above the surface with perfect accuracy. Also the eyes are located on both sides of the head, thus being protected from the currents. Due to the ratio between the cone and rod cells in the eyes, sensitivity to light is greater than sensitivity to other factors. In addition to this ratio, the existence of phosphorus in the eyes is another miracle of creation, which makes it easier for whales to see deep in the darkness.

The beaked whales refute the evolutionary claims

The dives of the beaked whales, the way they know how to protect themselves from the bends just like a professional scuba diver, and the special system of their lungs, cannot be explained with evolutionary claims, such as Darwin’s following idea: “I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.“ (Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, Vintage Books, 1958, p. 186). No scuba diver, can process his genes to include the experiences he gained in his life and then pass this information down to his children, to make sure that the child has the same talents. If he wants his child to be a skilled scuba diver as well, he has to teach his child  everything he learned during his training. But the babies of the beaked whale are born equipped with this information. It is because these animals didn’t get this information as a result of an evolutionary process. It is obvious that mutations, with their invariably destructive effects, will not turn a bear into a conscious scuba diver. It is not possible for beaked whales to have evolved from another animal, like Darwin claims. Because beaked whales were created by All-Mighty Allah with these qualities, and they have never gone through any changes since their emergence and they continue to survive by the means of the inspiration of Allah.

[Allah is] the Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is. (Surat al-Baqara, 117)

2011-05-13 12:01:08

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