Beluga Whales Speak English?

This story is headlining all over news stations this week! Thus, it allowed me to surface some 5-year-old photos of me playing with some beluga whales at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Thanks again to my friend Danielle who works there!)

Imagine this, you’re scuba diving in a beluga tank and you hear someone under water telling you to “get out.” When you surface, you asked “Who told me to get out,” and when no one said anything, you realize that it was the young whale in the tank…

In 1985, a beluga whale named Noc was audio recorded underwater making sounds that strangely sounded…like a human. This video of Noc was just released this year by The National Marine Mammal Foundation:

The sounds made by Noc were 2 octaves lower than normal beluga sounds and made before the whale reached adulthood (as published in Current Biology). Noc sadly passed away 5 years ago, but the research has just surfaced this year.

So what did that diver hear… “get me out”…”let me out”.. “get out” ??? Guess we’ll never know.

This isn’t the first time animals have imitated humans…or human made products…

Dolphins, elephants, harbor seals, and humans have shown evidence of imitating novel anthropogenic sounds. Many species are known to mimic their environment, especially ones that are deprived of normal interaction with their own species at a young age. Thus, it appears that they are trying to communicate with other species instead.

Animals and nature never cease to amaze me. 


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