Wait, People Actually Believe There are Whales in Lake Michigan?
I cannot believe this is real.
I was listening to NPR late last week (I think this was Thursday, December 29). I wish I could find the exact segment I was listening to but, there was a man talking about the conservation of Michigan's lakes. Obviously, that's a very important subject. However, my attention was quickly diverted when he mentioned that, on numerous occasions, tourists would visit Lake Michigan and ask where they could participate in whale watching.
Immediately, I rushed to Google to see if his statement was accurate. And, it was.
Now, when you Google "whales in Lake Michigan" a number of satirical Facebook pages, posts, and entire websites pop up that have the potential to confuse those who don't live in the Midwest or those visiting from outside the United States (and those that don't understand sarcasm).
For example, this post was made on April 1st of 2022:
That post references the Facebook page, Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station. The page is constantly poking fun at the idea of sharks, whales, and dolphins existing in the Great Lakes region:
There's even a website, lakemichiganwhales.com, that's comprised entirely of Lake Michigan whale "facts" and beyond including some obviously photo-shopped images.
Hilarious, yes. Except for those who work in the tourism industry who have to deal with visitors insisting that there are, indeed, whales in the lakes while they simultaneously demand information on the nearest whale-watching excursion.
A blog from traversecity.com says that,
Several times a year, people wander in asking about the best places to view migrating whales, or wanting to know what companies offer the best whale-watching cruises. Even though Traverse City is on Lake Michigan, nearly 800 miles from the nearest salt water.
While I can't track down the precise source of this misinformation, it's a good reminder to never blindly trust something you read on the internet. Especially, if the photo editing is THIS bad:
There is an abundance of life and different creatures you might find in Lake Michigan. Whales just aren't one of them. See all of the animals you can find in the lake here.
If you'd like to see the lack of whales for yourself, there are a number of jet ski and boat rentals available. Check them out below: