After sinking well over 500 hours into The Witcher 3, I've tussled with everything from wraiths to wyverns and basilisks to bruxae - I can even tell the difference between a ghoul and an alghoul (no thanks to Vesemir falling asleep). But despite my intimate knowledge of The Witcher 3's bestiary, I genuinely had no idea that Skellige was surrounded by loads of blue whales.
Earlier today, I was astounded to see somebody post a picture of Geralt paddling next to a whale on Reddit. I've spent plenty of time scuba diving in Skelligan seas - from hidden caches to pesky sirens, there's usually a pretty solid reason to jump off the side of the boat and go for a quick swim every now and then. But even after spending tens of hours - at the very least! - in the oceans around Kaer Trolde, I've never come across an absolutely massive whale before.
I suppose I had technically seen one whale, which was also in Skellige. It's the White Whale - you know, the one that pops up out of the water as soon as the guy who's been looking for it for decades turns his back to say hello. I didn't have the heart to tell him that after all those years, he chose the wrong four seconds to look away.
I also knew there was a dead whale that had washed up on the shore somewhere in Velen, but I thought that it was mostly there for environmental design. Little did I know his pals were probably floating around about 20 meters away from me, waiting for me to swim out far enough to give me a massive fright.
But yeah, 500 hours and not a single whale encounter. I never could have guessed. If you asked me, "are there whales in The Witcher 3," I'd have said, "Absolutely not." And I would have been totally wrong.
I also learned today that a ghost ship can burst out of the water while you're sailing through the Isles around Hindarsfjall. Never came across that one either, but I can confirm that from what I've seen in the last 24 hours, the oceans around Skellige are absolutely wild. And probably haunted.
Blue whales and ghost ships - who would have thought? To be honest, I fully believe that I could have sank yet another 500 hours into the game without encountering a whale for myself. And maybe another 500 after that, too.
Anyway, given the immense vastness of The Witcher 3's world, it's pretty likely that this won't be the last discovery somebody makes. Maybe there are giant squid knocking about somewhere, too.
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