Originally Posted by ladyjanuary
I am sick to hear of that. What can we do about it?
Does anyone have the link to the original article?
The dry valleys region has many apparent seal "suicides" mainly of crabeater seals. The carcasses just sit around and mummify in the endless drying cold wind (freeze-dry I guess) and can be up to thousands of years old.
When people come across them it seems like some single disasterous event, but in reality each seal probably died tens or even hundreds of years apart from the others and they are rare events. Not sure if this reported event is like that - suspect it might be though.
Why do they do it?
No-one knows, but seals will go surprising distances out of the sea sometimes. It is thought that maybe they get disoriented, losing the direction of the sea. The dry valleys are ringed with glaciers and ice-caps and maybe the seals think they represent the sea and so start heading off towards them getting even further from the sea. Seals don't have great eye-sight out of the water.