General Question

dunkin_donutz's avatar

Why am I obsessed with finding video of Tillikum the killer whale attacking and killing his trainer at SeaWorld?

Asked by dunkin_donutz (441points) February 26th, 2010

I’ve been searching everywhere for video of Dawn Brancheau being killed by the killer whale at SeaWorld.

Apparently lots of other people are too.

Some of the most popular Google searches the past day or two have been:

“killer whale kills trainer footage”
“killer whale kills trainer video 2010”
“killer whale attack video 2010”

So my question is: WHY?

Why am I obsessed with this?
I desperately need to see this video but I don’t know why.
And if you say “that’s because you’re a sick you-know-what”, that’s a pile of you-know-what because if I’m sick then everyone else is too – so it doesn’t make sense to say everyone is sick – if everyone behaves the same way then it’s not a sickness – it’s the norm.

Can someone explain this situation without calling names or using labels that you haven’t thought through?

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57 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think there was video of the attack.

It is an unfortunate desire, but a human one.

TooBlue's avatar


TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

Morbid curiosity? It’s ok..we all have it to SOME extent. Just think about her family and how you would feel if she was your loved one.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Maybe some people are just more pathologically morbid than others are. Or maybe it’s just the sensationalism that might have aroused people’s emotions. And of course, the never ending inquisitiveness of the human spirit.

ucme's avatar

It was the same with the guy in the olympics.My interpretation is that like it or not it’s in our nature to be curious.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@marinelife There IS video of the attack. SeaWorld officials announced to the press at a news conference about 20 minutes ago that they handed over the footage to investigators.

SEE! I can’t help myself. Stop it! Stop it!

marinelife's avatar

@dunkin_donutz That does not mean that it will be released to the public.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

It may be curiousity, but let it go. The public doesn’t need to see this. It’s bad enough that the audience there had to see it.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@marinelife It means that SeaWorld has a copy. And curious people work at SeaWorld. Eventually an intern will be working there. It will be after hours and a bunch of other workers order out for pizza and someone starts talking about Dawn Brancheau and Tillikum. Then someone says, “No, you can have the anchovie slice. Um, yeah that video really freaked me out”. And before you know it they’re uploading it to Youtube.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@ucme You mean the guy whose elbow got messed up. I couldn’t help myself with that either. Had to watch it and then felt sick afterwards. I literally almost threw up.

TooBlue's avatar

There is nothing wrong, morbid or sick about it at all. It’s only natural. I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

Buttonstc's avatar

You desire to see this for the same reason that there is so much slowdown due to “rubbernecking” at a traffic accident.

Even with a divided multi-lane highway this is a problem. It’s obvious that there will be delays on the side where the accident took place.

But those on the opposite side where there was no physical interference also slow down to a crawl.

Not necessarily logical since there’s nothing they can do about it, but human nature and curiosity nonetheless.

rangerr's avatar

The same reason everyone was obsessed with seeing the Steve Irwin video, the Olympics accident, and maybe even that video of the soldier getting beheaded a few years back. And the videos of people getting seriously injured.
People are over curious and want something else to talk about.
I honestly think it’s sick.. These people died and there’s no respect to the family or any mourning done by the public. Everyone is so obsessed with seeing the videos and pictures of what happened, they forget that a life was lost. It’s real life, not special effects. People need to realize this and be more sympathetic. The world might not suck so bad if people actually had some respect.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@rangerr Thanks for the tip – I haven’t seen the Steve Irwin video. Have to go look that up now. Beheading? Uh, pass . . .

ucme's avatar

@dunkin_donutz No the guy who died.It was actually while he was training, the day before the olympics started I believe.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@ucme Haven’t seen that one. How exciting.

dpworkin's avatar

We’re all fascinated by serial killers. Tillie is up to three now.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@dpworkin They say it was premeditated. I’m not so sure.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Morbid curiosity.
Fair Warning:
You won’t be able to unsee it.

Vunessuh's avatar

It’s just your curiosity. I’m the same way, except I don’t necessarily get obsessed.

@rangerr I don’t think watching a video of how it happened means you’re unsympathetic or disrespectful. They’re posted on the internet for a reason: for people to watch. Perhaps it’s the people who post them online to begin with are the ones being disrespectful. Not the people who actually watch them because they’re available to the public.

dpworkin's avatar

@dunkin_donutz Clearly dolphins don’t do anything without thinking about it first. The trainer was pulled under deliberately, but since she wasn’t mauled at all (and Orcas can shred a Blue Whale) it seems at least somewhat likely that Tillie wanted to play.

davidbetterman's avatar

Try this

I would love to see the video, too. And of course it is not disrespectful to want to view it.

rangerr's avatar

@dunkin_donutz Luckily the Irwin video was never released. Why? RESPECT. Learn the word.

@dunkin_donutz @dpworkin Telly wasn’t used to trainers being in his tank because of how big he is. The first trainer that was killed, there were two other whales in that tank. They were playing with her, but whales don’t know that humans can’t breathe underwater for as long as they can, and she drowned. The second man snuck into the the tank after the park closed. While yes, Telly might have had something to do with it, his cause of death was Hypothermia.
Point is: It’s not his fault. He’s still a wild animal. His version of playing is just rough compared to what we can handle.

@Vunessuh It’s disrespectful to even have the videos up in the first place. That family is going to have to navigate around the videos for quite a long time. Imagine being in their position. The more that people watch them, the easier the videos are to find. Which means the more chances of that video being brought up for the family/friends of the people IN the video.

Oy. I’m not even making sense with my ranting. I’m going to bed.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

@TooBlue Morbid Curiosity – a natural curiosity people have regarding disease, disorders, injury, death and related subjects.

dpworkin's avatar

@rangerr I was just defending the dolphin. You don’t need to sell me. I think keeping these creatures in a tank is highly immoral. Alas, this one is a good stud, so he is very profitable. You can bet they won’t be giving him up any time soon.

escapedone7's avatar

Maybe you feel “trapped” by people who toy with you and suppress you and unconsciously you think if would be cathartic to watch a trapped animal rebel against the people manipulating and imprisoning it. Subconscious urges sometimes come from weird places. I have no idea.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@dpworkin Considering how cuddly they are just seconds before in the video, the idea that he wanted to play with her seems the most likely theory to me.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@rangerr Why is it disrespectful to show someone’s death? That implies there’s something shameful about death. Do you believe death is something to be ashamed of?

I agree with your idea that it was probably rough play. They had a long relationship and Tillie gave no indication that he wanted to break up.

Vunessuh's avatar

@rangerr That’s what I’m saying. It’s disrespectful for them to be online in the first place, but that’s not the public’s fault and it doesn’t mean someone is cold-hearted, sick or unsympathetic for watching them. If something like that is available to the public, curiosity takes over one’s emotions until that need is filled. It’s human nature.

escapedone7's avatar

@dunkin_donutz You viewing the death is an entirely different experience than people who know and love the person being bombarded by clips on the news or people commenting about the video online. If you loved the person involved, it would make a traumatic event even more traumatic. The person has friends and family who are in pain. Respecting how everyone “ogling” their loved one’s demise would make them feel is just being considerate.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

@dunkin_donutz Death is definitely nothing to be ashamed of…but think of how hurtful it is for her family to know that strangers are getting off on watching their daughter, wife, mother, cousin, etc. losing her life

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@TILA_ABs_NoMore Her family should be happy that Dawn was able to provide valuable entertainment to the rest of the human race right up until the final moments of her life – and afterwards. What’s wrong with people enjoying the video or “getting off on it” as you put it?

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

@dunkin_donutz ARE YOU F’IN SERIOUS!?!?! “What’s wrong with people enjoying the video”?!?! Listen to yourself!!!!!

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@escapedone7 Maybe her family needs an attitude readjustment. They should think about how much pleasure people would get from seeing the video. That might make them realize what a contribution their loved one continued to make after her death.

Even if I don’t get to see the video, this story has given me countless hours of valuable entertainment the last few days. So, to Dawn I say a posthumous “thank you”.

dpworkin's avatar

What’s the difference between a troll and a dolphin?

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@dpworkin Can’t wait for the punchline.

Vunessuh's avatar

@dunkin_donutz Well, which one do you think you are? The troll or the dolphin?

dpworkin's avatar

@dunkin_donutz You are the punchline.

rangerr's avatar

@dunkin_donutz You know what? Yes. That’s exactly what I said. I’m so glad you can put words into my fucking mouth. You’re so smart.

dunkin_donutz's avatar

@dpworkin It’s funny how easy it is to become a troll just by saying what’s on your mind. I actually believe what I said, trollish as it may be and I do realize how trollish it sounds. I was half joking but also half serious.

Vunessuh's avatar

“I was half joking but I also half serious.”

So you’re half a troll and half a creep. Gotcha.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

@Vunessuh High Five! lol

So are they still called “trolls” in here?!? :-)

TooBlue's avatar

You see what happens when you speak your mind honestly? People shoot you down and make you pay. Apparently being honest makes you a troll…

Vunessuh's avatar

@TooBlue I didn’t make him pay, but I guess asking for $20 for calling him on his shit ain’t a bad idea.

dpworkin's avatar

@TooBlue Being provocative makes you a troll. There were plenty of other ways to suggest that schadenfruede played a part in the desire to see the video, and that is a very human feeling.

stratman37's avatar

I know that they are trained and all, but what part of “Killer Whale” did they not understand?

CMaz's avatar

You are “obsessed” because IT IS interesting.

How often do you get to see a killer whale kill a human?

faye's avatar

People are saying dolphin, I’m sure I read whale.A few somebodies have the video on their cameras- I’m surprised they haven’t youtubed it.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Someone’s death being used purely for your entertainment is in extremely poor taste.

Since when is a killer whale a dolphin?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have compassion for the loved ones of the innocent victims of violent deaths. I am probably more curious in most ways as the next person, but I would not view such a video even in private of of respect for the victim and their family.

We all have the ability to intrude into the pain and shock of others after a tragedy.
We have the choice to constrain our selves and not support a feeding frenzy!

@Captain_Fantasy The Orca is in fact the largest member of the dolphin family and is not truly a whale.

syz's avatar

[mod says] Off topic chatter and personal attacks will be removed. Please remain on subject.

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Sundown4's avatar

I was glad to see this on here, because I have had the same reaction! Before this happened, I was on the internet watching whales at sea World just because of a great fascination with killer whales. I HAVE been since a child! And I watched attacks and everyone lived. I was concerned about the LOUD NOISE of THE AWFUL MUSIC (which I muted) as I watched. I even e-mailed them about it, and got an e-mail BACK saying they were under close vet care, and it was all ok. (after I suggested the NOISE couldn’t be natural! (just some background on my interest). When this happened, I had SO many questions that the stories and internet couldn’t and wouldn’t answer! Like “how did Tilikum” start out in the one tank, swim around the main tank, and end up in a tank on the other side, before they got Dawn out?? I wanted to SEE what happened. And I haven’t rested with the case because there are so many questions! I am like YOU! I am NOT morbid, don’t “just want to see a death” God bless Dawn! We are intelligent, curious, and want answers. The MORE they keep it from us, the MORE we need to see it and know! For those of us who still need MORE answers and facts. Hard to just blow off and say, “it happened!” Some still think it was an accident! I also took a personal interest in this story, and everything was taken OFF the internet, by the time I GOT the internet again. So, I understand how you feel! Since it was such a BIG story, all kinds of viruses got put on it I heard! So we are NOT The only ones wanting to see and know!

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