The whale talk

NOC, a nine-year-old whale made human-like-sounds.

Vocal bursts averaged about three per second, with pauses reminiscent of human speech. Analysis of the recordings showed that the frequencies within them were spread out into “harmonics” in a way very unlike whales’ normal vocalizations and more like those of humans.

The mimicry is no easy task for whales. NOC had to modify his vocal mechanics to make human-like- sounds. We did not know whales could do that.
We know so much about animals! And we do not know so much about animals!


  1. Jockaira says

    I had an uncle who sounded like that when he was trying to sing “Mairzy Doats” when he was drunk. Thankfully he never got a recording contract.

    • mynameischeese says

      He sounds like someone talking into a megaphone from under water. Which, in fairness, is probably what he’s listening to every day from 9 to 5.

      The noise probably reminds people of the call to prayer coming from mosques. Oddly enough, when trying to explain that sound in writing a few years ago, I likened it to whales singing.

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