The Narwhal’s Tusk

It’s not every day that a narwhal tusk is mentioned in a news story. Perhaps a quirky piece of historical science writing about the tusk being sold for exorbitant prices as a rare unicorn horn in Victorian Times but rarely does this marine mammal get a mention in a major International News story. Let alone helping to fright crime.

That was until an incident in London, England on Friday November 29th (2019). There was terrorist attack near London Bridge, where an individual started stabbing people with a knife in the Fishmonger’s Hall. In the end, two people were killed and three others were injured. More might have been killed or injured if it hadn’t been for a 1.5 meter (~4 feet) narwhal tusk.

A quick thinking Polish employee of the Fishmonger’s Hall, took the tusk off a wall and confronted the attacker. Together with another bystander, armed with a fire extinguisher, they were able to subdue the attacker until police arrived and shot and killed the suspect.

This was such an odd mishmash of current events and Victorian Nature history and it left me feeling both dark and delighted. It is yet another example that truth really is stranger than fiction because if this was written in a piece of prose, the writer would be deemed hyperbolic or just insane. Who would believe such a story, it verges on magic realism!

It’s touching that this narwhal, in death, played a hand (well a tusk really) in helping to save lives. There is still magic in this old world.

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