Military Sonar May Give Whales the Bends, Study Says

Undersea noise from naval exercises appears to give beaked whales the bends, an ailment most commonly associated with scuba divers who rise to the ocean surface too quickly, according to a new study.

The finding comes from autopsies performed on beaked whales that stranded themselves on beaches in the Canary Islands four hours after military sonar activities commenced there September 24, 2002. The research is reported in the October 9 issue of Nature.