Remember the Thames Whale? The five-metre sea mammal who, ten years ago today, swam right up into the centre of town, got everybody’s attention and then dramatically carked it, like some sort of bottle-nosed David Bowie?
In many ways, the Thames Whale was way ahead of its time. Its 15 minutes of fame came six months before the launch of Twitter, which is outrageous really, because #ThamesWhale is the perfect story for social media. So much so that it’s odd to look back at decade-old images of crowds on the banks of the river and notice that nobody’s holding a smartphone in the air – they’re just sort of looking and thinking about what’s going on, the primitive idiots.
If you missed out back then, don’t worry – the Tenth Anniversary Memorial March is happening tomorrow (January 21) and we promise you we’re not making this shit up. It starts at the Natural History Museum (where the whale’s bones now live) at 5.30pm and ends at Battersea Park, the westernmost point of the Thames Whale’s ill-fated swim. There will be whalesong blasted from bike-mounted speakers and even some sort of commemorative puppetry. We promise you we’re not making this shit up.
Alternatively, you could sod all that and check out this slick video report from 2006 instead. Word of warning for big-time whale-fanciers – it might make you blubber.