This Walrus Fell Asleep on an Iceberg and Woke Up in Ireland

Ever drift off to sleep on the train, subway, or in a cab and completely miss your stop? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one in the animal kingdom who gets a bit lost while catching some Zs.

Earlier this month, a walrus was spotted on the western shore of Ireland, a very rare sight. So, how did it get there? According to experts, the animal likely fell asleep on an iceberg somewhere in the Arctic and floated to Ireland during its nap.


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“I’d say what happened is he fell asleep on an iceberg and drifted off and then he was gone too far, out into the mid-Atlantic or somewhere like that down off Greenland possibly,” Kevin Flannery, director of Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle, Co. Kerry, told the Irish Independent. “That is usually what happens… they fall asleep on an iceberg and get carried off from the Arctic.”

According to the Independent, the animal was first spotted by a local man named Alan Houlihan and his five-year-old daughter, Muireann, as it was breaching out of the water along Glanleam Beach.

“I thought it was a seal at first and then we saw the tusks. He kind of jumped up on the rocks. He was massive. He was about the size of a bull or a cow, pretty similar in size, he’s big, big,” Houlihan said. “He was right beside us, less than 50 meters away from us. He went off again for a while and he came back and went back to the rocks.”

While absolutely adorable, Flannery noted that the animal is likely very tired, and very hungry, after such a long journey. He urged the public to make sure to give the animal plenty of space if they encounter it.

“Hopefully he’ll get a few scallops around Valentia. But at this point, he wants to rest. He’s come from the North Pole, possibly off Greenland,” Flanner said. “He could also be island-hopping and went to Iceland and on to Shetland but that’s unlikely. I’d say he came in out of the Atlantic. It’s thousands of miles away. If he regains his strength hopefully he’ll make his way back up.”

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