2019 Crabeater Seal POI & odd images


I don’t know about seals, but I’m pretty good at counting penguins. :laughing:
What I do is start at 200’/100m. If I see broken ice (sea ice) and/or cracks in the ice sheet, I zoom in another level. If I’m still not sure I’ll zoom in another level. If the blob(s) are a match for the scale, then I know it isn’t a seal. If it’s smaller - and not perfectly vertical (data noise from the camera and/or downlink), or isn’t horizontal like adjacent shadows from snow/ice mounds - then mostly likely a seal… especially if it appears “fatter” at one end (tear drop). If there are many and all are in the same direction… definitely not seals. So far I’ve done 2.02k and only found 2 tiles with possible seals… and I was very hesitant about marking them as “seals”, but after spending a lot of time going back and forth I did eventually mark them as seals. But almost 1k tiles past them, I still don’t feel comfortable with myself for having done so. But what is done is done and I’ve moved on. Haven’t found any seals since - yet. :neutral_face:
Just be careful when you see the dark blobs along a ridge of snow/ice. Seals don’t like climbing. :laughing: If that’s the only spot you see the blobs in, I bet you a cookie if you zoom in you’ll notice some white stuff above each one - snow/ice mound. Another thought that just fell in front of my mind for me to trip over is when you see the dark blobs on the thin gray sea ice. Usually that’s just the dark sea water showing through some thin ice. Comparing their size with the scale will usually verify that - especially when zooming out and you see them on every piece of thin ice. Some of them can be quite large, although they do seem to have a great variance in size. JMHO.


Here’s what looks like underwater “clouds” of brown… billowing clouds. And I also found the Grinch on the left side. (This is all above the poly and zoomed out to -2.)

We used to have a parrot called a Sun Cunard. Here’s an “Ice Cunard” peaking out from the sea ice. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (It’s just below the top of the poly, zoom +2.)


I marked my example above as yes for seal(s). It is the only one so far. As each of you find seals, can you post the picture with the scale visible so we can see what you have found.

I keep thinking I must be missing some, but I really think there just aren’t that many - so far.

Is the Tomnod software cycling us through pictures with geographic continuity or randomly through the entire set?

Somewhere there is a seal party and we weren’t invited :grin:


Randomly, I think, and sometimes repeating the same tile.




Nope! Those are shadows from the pushed up snow/ice. And the couple individual dark spots are thin, but vertical - camera/data fault.


Here’s on with a few seals…at least I think they are :wink: Zoomed in to +1 for the image but zooming in to +3 they seem to meet the scale




I checked out the link in the 2nd photo. The “seal” circled on the left is a shadow from a snowbank. The seal on the right does indeed look like a seal, but it’s vertical orientation gives me cause for doubt. But, I lean toward the “yes, it’s a seal”. If it looks like a seal, sounds like a seal, and it’s not wearing sunglasses, then it’s a seal. :rofl:


Yes, I had my doubts about the left one too but because of the right one, I went with seals.


So did I. :wink: (20 characters…) :smiley:


Finally caught on camera! A howling wind! It’s face is on the left just shy of the dark black vertical line. The “body” of the wind (cloud-like) trails behind the face and gets bigger the farther away it gets from the face. Notice the wind’s mouth is wide open as it howls. (This is at zoom +3.) I think I’m going to take a break and watch a documentary of TV. Maybe I can get my TV time for this year up to 10 hours. :grinning:

And here’s a man under the ice. Looks like he might have been a king or someone of royalty. Also note the “pumkpin face” lower right. The Great Pumpkin from the Charlie Brown Halloween cartoon maybe? Or “Jack” from the animated cartoon “The Nightmare Before Christmas”? (zoom +2)


I found out how all these cracks are appearing in the ice. The seals are using a piece of flat stock (steel) and popping up the ice. In the attempt below, the ice beneath their pry bar started to crack so they gave up. :rofl: Don’t mind me. It’s late and I’m ready for bed. Just ran out of ice cream :roll_eyes: (This is at zoom +2 and right center of poly.)


Ok, I’ve found them…the little Crabeaters :unamused:
They’re just laughing at us; :disappointed:

Pretending to be camera shy :roll_eyes:

Worse than the Weddells to find :confounded:

EDIT: I wonder if @Michelle4 has found any yet :thinking: She could, maybe, give us a link to a positive sighting, ya know, just to get our minds eye set to the correct scale :wink: :grin:


Here’s an ice bird hunting for worms :smile:




seals here? Y or N.


Lets see what @Jim7 says but I would say yes…upper right corner.

Up to you @kateg…we all see it differently.


Kate, I checked the entire poly at zoom +2 and +3, and then zoomed out and moved quite a ways away to either side of the poly (mostly to the right though) and observed that practically the entire map around the poly has those dark gray spots, blobs, whatever. I believe those are just thin ice that are not snow covered. I voted “No Seals” on that. Just to let you know, I did look for the blobs being in different direction, especially different from the vertical and horizontal. Vertical is usually artifacts of the data strips and/or pasting. But what I saw were gray blobs of varying sizes and shapes… and the same color… indicating thin ice. Even those which were very dark, upon close examination, I found to be shadows of raised snow mounds/blown snow, etc… Sorry. :frowning_face:

Edit: I just went back and double-checked the upper right corner at +2, +3, and +4, comparing all blobs with the size scale. I ignored all blobs that are perfectly vertical (explanation above) and concentrated on any that may be oriented at an angle askew to vertical and/or horizontal. I thought yes on a few - at first - but then realized they were a bit too large for these seals’ size… even accounting for pixel blur. I’m sticking with “no seals”, but this is what makes crowdsourcing work so well… more people may say “yes” than “no.” So, as we were told at the beginning of every campaign, go with your first impulse… don’t second-guess yourself… things will work themselves out. :wink: :smiley:

Edit 2: @kateg @Terri, Almost an hour later I’m still thinking about what I told you - go with your first impulse and don’t second guess yourself. One other thing I forgot to mention is that if there is a poly that you’re not 100% sure about, by clicking “Seals”, that may warrant a second look by everyone in the next phase of the campaign. Just a thought. :wink:


good idea…it seems to be the best rather than agonizing over the decision.


After zooming out to -2 from the poly, going down to the tip of the ice sheet and a little to the left I found this little gem. Zooming back in to +2 this looks like stellar dust. And I don’t even have my head in the clouds. :grinning: