The Talking whale in the news:
A Beluga whale learned how to imitate human voices.
Scientists believe he was trying to make contact. The male Beluga whale named Noc produced a human-like voice which surprised scientists.
Previously, whales were thought to product sounds that are completely different from humans.
Noc lived for 30 years among dolphins, other white whales and was in contact with humans at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego, California. He died five years ago.
Scientists has recently released recordings of Noc and their findings.
Sam Ridgway, a scientist and who had led the study, said: “Our observations suggest that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds.”
“Such obvious effort suggest motivation for contact.”
Ridgway and his colleagues noticed the unusual sounds in 1984. They described it as sounds that normally come from two people in a conversation.
They eventually traced the sound back to Noc when a diver surface from the whale enclosure and asked, “Who told me to get out?”
The scientists point out that “it wasn’t easy” for Noc to imitate the human-like sounds. The whale would have to change the pressure in his nasal tract and at the same time making other muscular adjustments through his blowhole.
This is one reason why they think the whale was trying to communicate with them.
Noc has not been the only whale who has tried to make contact with humans. The image below shows another Beluga whale blowing bubbles beside a human. The bubble is in a shape of a heart.
What do you think of this story? Was the whale trying to make contact or was it just imitating what they hear?