Beluga Whale Live Cam Streams the Hub Where Thousands of Whales Gather in the Summer

Spend some time with your playful new friends.

beluga whale live cam
Madison Stevens/Polar Bears International
Madison Stevens/Polar Bears International

Staying at home almost constantly might have you looking for someone to keep you company during all the time you're unable to join friends at a bar. You can spend some of that time making new friends. Those new pals over the next month or so could be a pod of friendly beluga whales.

Polar Bears International (PBI) and are launching its beluga whale live cam on July 15, which is Arctic Sea Ice Day (we'll ignore that it's also Tax Day). Every summer, about 57,000 beluga whales travel from the Arctic to the Churchill River in Manitoba. The live cam is sitting on the Beluga Boat wandering the Churchill River Estuary.

The underwater camera showcases the playful whales coming into the Hudson Bay, while the camera's hydrophone captures the vocalizations of the belugas. In addition to the underwater camera, there's one positioned above deck as well. "They are often very playful, coming right up to the camera," the organization said in its announcement.

This will be the live cam's eighth year of operation and the seventh year that Polar Bears International will celebrate Arctic Sea Ice Day to "draw attention to the meltdown taking place in the Arctic, why it matters, and how we can reverse this trend." Sea ice is crucial to the survival of belugas, polar bears, and humans. 

"Sea ice disappearance is intertwined with the fate of polar bears, and the future of the planet," Krista Wright, executive director of Polar Bears International, said in a statement. "An appreciation and understanding of sea ice can help everyone connect deeper with the Arctic and take action. There is still time to stop this trend and preserve sea ice for future generations of polar bears and people."

The camera will operate through the beginning of September, a representative told Thrillist. In addition to streaming the whales summering in Canada, PBI is hosting live chats in July and August, as well as providing the opportunity to participate in the Beluga Bits community science project capturing screenshots and classifying the whales visible on the cam. It'll be better than watching your roommate stream Hamilton, again.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.