2017 Nov - Weddell Seals Update from Dr. Michelle LaRue


Hello Tomnod crowd!

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve helped us do something no one in the history of the planet has ever been able to do.

You’ve made a previously impossible task possible, by helping us cover nearly half the coastline of the Antarctica continent, searching for seals. In fact, more than 318,000 of you engaged in our Satellites Over Seals campaign over the past few months! Here’s how awesome you are:

 You have looked at, in total, 550 images completely in just a few months – in some cases these images were searched 10 times. That’s the equivalent of 5,500 images – and that is simply unprecedented. If I wanted to search 5,500 images it would take me alone 229 days of nonstop searching with no breaks for sleeping or eating. You’re incredible!
 All those images equates to more than 105,000 km2 of fast ice being searched. That amount of ice would nearly cover the entire country of Cuba – and you helped us search through it in just a couple of months!
 You’re incredibly accurate. As a matter of fact, 100% of the time that you vote “No Seals”, you’re correct. You can’t get that kind of accuracy with hardly anything, and that makes our ability to analyze the data even easier. THANK YOU!

We quite literally could not do our research without you. And because of your help, we are currently working on several publications and we will be presenting these results at an international conference next summer. As soon as we know where seals live and why, you will be the first to know!

But there is still more to do… the Antarctic coastline is HUGE, as you now know, but we’re almost there! We have East Antarctica left to search… and then? Well, then it’s our job to get results back to you so you can see for yourselves what you’ve helped us accomplish. We can’t wait to do that, but we just need your help for a little while longer.

Join us, will you?? www.tomnod.com

All my best!


Yay! I’m great at finding… ~nothing~! LOL I get an A++++

So, are you better at finding seals? or judging nothing? or… marking rocks? hahaha

Let’s hear your votes on this.


Ok I think I’m experiencing a touch of deja vu here confused6
Nearly every poly contains seals now, so would I be right in thinking that we’re into a second stage of further clarification of polys agreed to contain seals? :thinking:


Keep looking, we’re now in an area that apparently has a LOT more seals!


You’re almost correct - we’re now in an area of the Antarctic that apparently has lots of maps with seals on them. I’m searching myself and finding probably 10x more maps with seals on them than I did when we searched the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas!!

Keep searching, and thank you for your help!



Thank you for the update, @Michelle4!

In addition to there being more seals in this part of the coast, we may also be seeing more seals in our polygons because as of a week or so ago, we reached the point where every polygon in this campaign had been viewed at least once (Yes! That’s 155176 polygons! Thank you volunteers!).

This means that our QC algorithm has started showing polgyons not randomly, but based on how much confidence it has in the vote. My guess is that the algorithm is less sure about seals polygons because they are more rare, so is showing them more often now.


Yeah, yeah, Server Johnny’s just showing off. :-p~~ Gotta luv him, though. Does all that mathema-matical work without even raising an eyebrow. yuck to math

(Johnny) Beep beep, rummm, rummm, bee–p

(Me) Mew :cat2:


What I question is whether seals would be out in nothingness, and nowhere near any crack or open water. Doesn’t seem correct, to me. ??


But the hole they made through the ice may have frozen over in the time they’re out of the water, just not enough that they cat break through a thin layer to return to the water :thinking:
They clearly manage to make holes in thin ice to surface.


Well, I guess that’s a way. Guess they need those big heads for sumthin.


Well you sound in fine form today cagey…mayhap that bed’s arrived at long last :thinking:


Nope. Helper never helped (quite common).

I just moved 3 very heavy boxes. Those 3 and the remaining boxes to move are my grandmothers, my sisters, or my files of genealogy research from before writing book 1. (My grma and sis died so I inherited their gene papers, which added to mine.) Anyway, got about 8 boxes to move and then a chest that holds sheets & pillowcases. Then, strip and tip the mattress/box so I can retrieve my cat toys and vac. I just want to get finished in time. Kinda hurting.


When my sister thought she’d be moving house, she packed up loads of boxes, stacked them in the shape of a bed in a spare empty room, threw a valance, pillows and quilt over the top and set a night table beside it, turning it into a fake bedroom for showing to potential buyers :rofl:

She never did sell up and move so unpacked everything a year later and put real bedroom furniture in there instead :roll_eyes:


ya think that explains the weird shapes we see in Antarctica?? The Weddells swooshed their fish into boxes… flippered snow up to hide it all… then, they laugh at us as they see us clicking polys.


And I bet that was their shovel level lying around that claus posted a picture of in the Antarctica: Weddell seals - POI - WOW post…so that’s what they were up to :rofl: Maybe it’s not even a research station their but boxes upon boxes of fish to get them through the winter :sweat_smile:


I cannot see any example images to know what and how to mark the images in this campaign on “Weddell Seals”. It says the image was not found on server and also the server certificate is invalid.


@Amal Hi, what browser are you running?
Have you tried
Microsoft Edge
Or Google Chrome

I have also been wondering about that certificate, on different sites,


I use firefox 57.0 on Windows 64-bit.


Thank you very much. It is rather enjoyable to contribute in a small way to current and future research projects.