Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Loneliest Whale in the World.

In 2004, The New York Times wrote an article about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem:
She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one. Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25hz, she sings at 52hz. You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored. And, with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by.
Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with any of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean.

1 comment:

  1. How about instead of tracking her, we design a waterproof pitch modulator to "translate" so she can meet other whales? I'm certain we have the technology, we can produce much more complex adaptive devices for people. I'm sure Animal Planet could scare up some corporate sponsors if the marine biologists need funding, but it sounds cheap to me - the price of a really loud car stereo. Okay, given science paycheck, they'd need sponsors. :)

    Depending on how soon her mother died or left her on her own, she still might be rejected if she didn't learn or has forgotten social skills, but she might also find a group, join it, find a mate. No, I'm not anthropomorphizing, other animals have social needs too. They're subject to empirical observation.