A guy was sitting on the stairs of the entrance to the research station and I thought I give it try. I had an email conversation with Outi Terho the research station’s leader about the likelihood of polar bear encounters on my trip. I wrote about it before. I thought, albeit it is Sunday morning, I might meet her for a small chat on my trip and the observations I made on the glaciers. Well, I had no luck in this respect, but funny enough, the guy I met on the stairs of the entrance to the research station was a South African biologist carrying out research on sleep cycles of marine mammals.
He was obviously by statue and appearance one of those more laid-back type of guys taking things in a very relaxed way. I sat down next to him on the stairs and started to chat with him about the kind of research he is doing and actually how he is carrying out his research. He told me some details about the sleep cycles of seals and that there different kinds of them differing in that some seals sleep with half their brain being awake at a time and some other seals sleep with both sides of the brain being in sleep-mode.
The way he is carrying out his research is that he pays local hunters to get him seals of which he takes away the brains for further studies. He said the local hunters were wondering, that he was not interested in any other parts of the seals and that they could keep the brain-removed remainders of the seals and even get some money for them. Unfortunately, he added, the first seals were without value for him. They got shot into their heads… In the meantime, he was taking life very laid-back enjoying the morning sun of beautiful Sunday in Qeqertarssuaq waiting for more dead seals to arrive.