Imagine the loneliness of speaking a language that only you can understand. Researchers have been studying a whale, who communicates in a language not recognizable by other whales. This whale has spent over two decades looking for a friend who will understand him.
Whales are renowned for their songs. Often complex, sometimes simple, songs are their only method of communication. But this unique whale is so out of tune with other whales that no one can hear or understand it.
A team of scientists has been listening to this whale for over two decades. They believe he is a fin or a blue whale. Whatever the case, it has been calling in search of a mate for many a moon.
Its high-pitched song is so different from other whales that its calls for friendship continue to fall on deaf ears.
Researchers have nicknamed this creature ‘the loneliest whale in the world.’
His song was first discovered in the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean in 1989. While recording submarines, the US Navy accidentally picked up the unmistakable noise of whale songs. Dr. William Watkins researched the sounds and noticed that one whale’s song was completely different to the others.
A male fin or blue whale communicates on a frequency which is too deep for the human ear. This ‘lonely’ whale sings at a pitch, which is three times higher.
Such an obscure song receives no response from other whales. Scientists are confused why a healthy creature doesn’t change its tune and communicate in a regular pattern used by other whales.
Without a shared means of communication, we would all live an isolated existence. In such a world our deepest thoughts, feelings, experiences and beliefs would die a lonely death. Our most treasured moments would be unexpressed, unshared, and unloved.
Yet is the whale lonely, or has it chosen to speak in a different language to the rest of its species out of choice?
May-Ann Daher, who researched the whale, is unsure.
She explained, “People like to imagine this creature out there swimming by his lonesome, just singing away and nobody’s listening. But I can’t say that.”
No matter if he’s alone or lonely, this solitary creature will continue to search the ocean for another whale who speaks the same language and shares the same song.