Haystack To Gulls: Misnomers And Misnamed On The Oregon And Washington Coasts

Washington’s Long Beach – Being corrected can be uncomfortable or annoying at times. On the other hand, there are circumstances in which inappropriate language simply permeates society, which can be equally annoying. (Photo credit: Oregon Coast Beach Connection, Haystack Rock in Pacific City at night.) Chief Kiawanda Rock was its previous name.)

The Oregon and Washington coasts contain some items where this is the case. These objects we frequently encounter are actually better described as starfish and seagulls, but not like either. On the coast of Oregon, Haystack Rock holds a few surprises and may not be what you expect. Another surprise: the popular funny tale of the Exploding Whale in the area has an alternate ending that modifies the situation.

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They’re Gulls – Not Seagulls

This would be the scientific component of the Birds Aren’t a Real movement, if it had one. The word gulls, not seagulls, is the correct one.

Although few people are aware of this, birders and bird experts have long considered it to be inconvenient. It’s unclear how the term came to be known as “seagulls” along the way, although it was undoubtedly in use when Richard Bach published Jonathon Livingston Seagull just before 1970.

Science professionals, like Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium, assert that the misunderstanding is true and explain that it has to do with scientific terminology.

In North America, there are 28 different species of gulls that dwell near the water, yet none of them is known by the term “seagull,” she added.

Western gulls dominate the population throughout the coast of Washington and into Oregon.

This information is only recently coming to light, so you probably won’t get much, if any, correction. But it will happen. Many coastal businesses who have “seagull” in their names are likely to regret it someday.

Not Starfish, but Seastars

The Correct-o-sauruses on the internet love to capitalise on this because it is more widely recognised.

This is actual, highly pure science, according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

In no way are sea stars comparable to fish. They are echinoderms, a group that includes sea urchins and sand dollars. They differ from fish in part because they circulate seawater rather than blood through their bodies.

The agency added that sea stars move by using small tube feet that are positioned on the underside of their bodies. “Adult sunflower sea stars may travel at the astounding pace of 15,000 tube feet per minute. Sea stars’ tube feet aid in keeping their prey in place.

Echinoderms also refer to organisms with five-point radial symmetry.

Remember, when the starfish wasting syndrome epidemic struck the population along the U.S. west coast a decade ago, you had never heard the term “starfish wasting syndrome.”

Haystack Rock

The idea that there are two Haystack Rocks on the Oregon coast continues to confound a lot of people, and you will occasionally run into people online who disagree with you on this. In actuality, there are THREE Haystack Rocks. There are well-known ones at Pacific City and Cannon Beach, but there’s also one down in Bandon.

Misnomers And Misnamed On The Oregon
Misnomers And Misnamed On Oregon

Another interesting fact: Chief Kiawanda Rock, the original name of Pacific City’s Haystack Rock, is occasionally used in conversation. Many people in the city and other parts of the state believe it should stay that way because it was named for a long-gone local tribal leader. These figures are rising, therefore there might eventually be a real name-change campaign.

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach also went by the incorrect name of “third largest monolith in the world” for a brief period of time. The assertion, however, gradually vanished from view after Oregon Coast Beach Connection discovered in 2007 that there wasn’t a genuine category like that. Regarding monoliths, it isn’t even conceivable to make such a claim because of how general the phrase is.

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Long-term residents were just using the claim at the time; they were not even aware of its origins; it has been in use since at least the 1980s.

The whale explosion in Florence wasn’t the first.

This is where history gets sticky, pardon the pun.

The infamous Exploding Whale from 1970 was not the first such “overblown” project. Warrenton did the same thing in 1937 when a carcass washed ashore closer to the Columbia River; there is no video of it, but there is a decent amount of documentation.

This is a lot more complicated story that is also entertaining because it detours into a variety of ridiculous legal disputes. Reporters couldn’t help but make jokes about the actual dynamiting, so the coverage of it is about as entertaining.

In Warrenton last night, many people poked their noses into something that didn’t concern them, much to their own dismay, as The Eugene Guard (later Register-Guard) described it.

It ended up being basically the same, while oddly being regarded as a success at the time. Locals have reportedly flooded laundries to have their cars washed and their gut-soaked clothes disinfected. View the entertaining narrative in its entirety.

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