In Finland, we always get excited about one thing at a time.
2013 was the year of the avocado pasta—the whole country run out of avocados that year, and even my parents were serving it on a Christmas Day.
Last year we got excited about Stand Up Paddling (suppailu in Finnish), which basically means standing and paddling on a big surf board.
This year, everyone is talking about #norppalive.
“Norppa Live” is a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) website, which shows a live video stream of the wild Saimaa ringed seal, one of the rarest animal species on the planet. The seal can only be found in one place: Lake Saimaa in Finland.
Watching this real time video is better than any Big Brother or X-Factor episode combined. Why?
Because, according to WWF:
“In the early 20th century, there might have been as many as 1,000 Saimaa ringed seals. Due to hunting, the number declined so that at the beginning of the 1980s, there were less than 120 individuals left.”
120 individuals. That’s one-eighth of my Facebook friends—and that was in the 80s.
So when you see that chubby seal lying on the rock, be happy.
(I get the irony as well—watching wildlife, in real time, on your phone screen might seem like the ultimate disconnection from nature.)
But in fact, I think watching the live video keeps us even more present. At least we won’t forget that the nature is out there, and that there are many animal species who need our help.
You can use the hashtag #norppalive when you spot one and join the hype.
Stay tuned. But be patient.
(By the way, if you feel like helping these seals, there’s also a “donate” button on the right hand side corner on WWF page.)
And here’s a video (not live) which shows how the seal climbs up to the rock:
Author: Sara Kärpänen
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina