Anorak News | Noc the talking whale sounds like a human

Noc the talking whale sounds like a human

by | 23rd, October 2012

WANT to hear a beluga whale talking like a human? Not a human you’d want to listen to for all that long, rather one who knows some of the words to Do Wah Diddy Diddy?

The talking whale was called NOC, property of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, California. He died in 1999.

The story goes: 

After seven years in our care… a white whale called NOC began, spontaneously, to make unusual sounds… Whale vocalizations often sounded as if two people were conversing in the distance just out of range for our understanding. These ‘conversations’ were heard several times before the whale was identified as the source… The whale was exposed to speech not only from humans at the surface — it was [also] present at times when divers used surface-to-diver communication equipment.

The whale was recognized as the source of the speech-like sounds when a diver surfaced outside this whale’s enclosure and asked “Who told me to get out?” Our observations led us to conclude the “out” which was repeated several times came from NOC.

When a whale tells you to get out of the water, get out of the water…

Spotter: Current Biology. “The sounds we heard were clearly an example of vocal learning by the white whale.”


Posted: 23rd, October 2012 | In: Strange But True Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink