Hvaldimir, the suspected Russian spy whale, gets spotted making strange moves

Hunnebostrand, Sweden - A beluga whale that is suspected of being a spy for Russia was recently spotted off the coast of Sweden, confusing experts and civilians alike.

Hvaldimir, a beluga whale who is suspected of being trained by Russia to be a spy, was spotted off the coast of Sweden on Sunday. (Stock image)
Hvaldimir, a beluga whale who is suspected of being trained by Russia to be a spy, was spotted off the coast of Sweden on Sunday. (Stock image)  © IMAGO / imagebroker

Is one of the world's most stealthy spies actually a whale? And is he on the move?

According to The Guardian, the whale dubbed Hvaldimir, combining the Norwegian word for "whale" with the name of Russia's leader Vladimir Putin, was spotted off Sweden's south-western coast on Sunday.

He was first discovered off Norway's northern coast near Finnmark in 2019, a fair distance from his home in the Svalbard archipelago.

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Hvaldimir was wearing a harness that had GoPro mounts, and a stamp that read "equipment of St Petersburg," sparking rumors that he was trained by Russia to be a spy.

Hvaldimir was incredibly friendly and loving to humans, leading experts to believe he had possibly escaped captivity. Videos of the friendly mammal and his story went viral, propelling him to internet stardom.

The OneWhale organization has since been tracking his movement, as he has spent the past three years heading south, speeding up in recent months as he was headed towards Sweden.

Marine biologist Sebastian Strand says his team is unsure why the whale is swimming faster, as he has been moving "very quickly away from his natural environment."

"It could be hormones driving him to find a mate," Strand explained. "Or it could be loneliness, as belugas are a very social species – it could be that he's searching for other beluga whales."

Or could Russia have something to do with it?

Russia has not responded to the allegations that Hvaldimir is spying for them, leaving the mystery unsolved.

Cover photo: IMAGO / imagebroker

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