Talking Whale. No Joke.


You know how parrots have the ability to imitate human speech?  Of course you do.  They point this out in any sort of media that has pirates in it.

Well, now you can add beluga whales to the list of animals that can talk, because this week, scientists released their results from their investigation into strange mumbling sounds that they heard around these whales.  This mumbling caused a diver to come to the surface, confused. "Who told me to get out?"  At this point, they realized that it was coming from a captive male beluga whale named Noc. 

From then until Noc's death, according to this article, "Scientists think the whale's close proximity to people allowed it to listen to and mimic human conversation. It did so by changing the pressure in its nasal cavities."  The human sounds are significantly lower in pitch than the usual sounds that a beluga whale makes.  This is what the "speech" sounds like.  Well, we won't have whales giving speeches anytime soon, but if you were underwater with tons of diving equipment and you can't hear much to begin with, and if you were around these whales frequently and know what they're supposed to sound like, you would probably mistake it for a human voice. 

The article mentions that this isn't the first time that an animal could do this.  Parrots, dolphins, and even dogs, but Noc was different in that he just started "talking" without (direct) training by his own will.  This not only says something about the beluga's speaking capabilities, but it says volumes about its memory and intellect. A whale, just by listening to humans for enough time, was able to remember and copy certain words.  What animal do you think will be able to do this next? Have you ever tried to get your pet to talk? If so, did it work?


I think what's amazing about this story is that the whale didn't learn to speak because it was forced, it did it on it's own. I agree with you- this does say multitudes about the whales intellect. I do think many animals have done this before, I couldn't open your link, but I highly suggest the videos of the talking huskies, it's amazing. I have personally tried to get animals to talk after watching videos like this, and I just end up with a dog looking at me like I'm stupid. Who knows, maybe they really do. I think it's very possible that we underestimate the intelligence of some animals.

Like trying to get me to speak Chinese I would not be able to put words or a sentence together but merely make similar sounds. However with a formal education or enough time around only Chinese speaking people I would be able to learn the language. Lets say a whale could get a formal education.. could we teach a whale to speak English? I feel like as the dominant species on Earth we are constantly underestimating other species. I saw this picture of an Orangutan using what appears to be a spear to fish.. Are other species evolving before our eyes?

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