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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

28

Whale Either Genuinely Angry or Playfully Disbelieving

"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 [the white whale named] NOC."

Update: Now with audio.

Previously: Whale Radio.

28 Comments / Post A Comment

SuperGogo

Ah, that explains the curly wig and long floral dress found stashed behind a rock in the Beluga whale's pen.

Cawendaw

@SuperGogo I'm trying to think of who you're trying to suggest was actually NOC (who died in 1999 and gave up mimicking humans before that, and so must have been active in the early to mid 90's), and for some reason all I can think of is Dana Carvey's Church Lady.

SuperGogo

@Cawendaw Here's a hint: I'm sure the whale had unusally strong flippers because "get! out!" was accompanied by a big shove.

Kristen

I know that maybe I'm letting my imagination run away with me with this story, but I think it's nightmarish. The sentient beluga whale manages to learn our freaking language and is begging us to free him: "OUT OUT OUT" but we are too deaf and stupid to hear him and he dies without ever making contact. Yikes.

SuperGogo

@Kristen Oh man, speaking of nightmareish, that MP3 sound file of the whale sounds at the link (look under Supplemental Materials). Happy Halloween, y'all! *shudder*

meetapossum

@Kristen "I kind of wish I hadn't freed their leader and, you know, doomed mankind."

Mira

@Kristen Right there with you. Seeing the beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium, stuck swimming around in tiny circles for the rest of their lives, was one of the most horrible experiences of my adult life. Awful.

Misselthwaite

@Mira Those beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium were rescued from an amusement park in Mexico where they were kept in deplorable condition. I'm not saying it's right for them to be in the tank they are now, but they are in a better place than they were, having meaningful interaction with their caretakers and it's my understanding that they wouldn't be able to survive in the wild.

Megasus

@Misselthwaite Hoo boy guys, don't look up "Marineland, Niagara Falls Ontario"

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Megano! "OUR CHILD HAD THE SADDEST EVER LOOK ON HIS FACE" (I looked it up and few down a mineshaft of online reviews...send help...also cookies...)

Megasus

@sudden but inevitable betrayal did you read any of The Toronto Star stuff? I mean, I TOLD YOU NOT TO LOOK.

itiresias

I came across this article yesterday and experiment 4 is totally creepy/relevant to whales speaking English.

TARDIStime

@itiresias
Whaaaaaa?
I don't know who I feel worse for, the dolphin or the research assistant!
But also - how much did that change the dolphin's language capabilities? They don't specify!

TARDIStime

@TARDIStime Also, did you see this?

http://67.55.50.201/lilly/womandolph01x.html

SOUNDBYTES OF MARGARET AND PETER!!!

itiresias

@TARDIStime sweet jesus

aphrabean

@Kristen It's nightmarish and criminal and deeply, deeply depressing.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@aphrabean
I used to be more of this mindset, but what do you make of a future where the oceans will be uninhabitable for whales? Should we keep some whales in aquariums in order to preserve the species?

aphrabean

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll That is actually part of what is deeply, deeply depressing to me: it's not just cetaceans in captivity that is so criminal, it's the destruction of their habitats as well.

FickleMoon

The article I read said the whale stopped trying after a while, so it was either 'a childish phase' or because 'no one ever answered back'. D:

TARDIStime

@FickleMoon
I choose the heart-rending option b).
The thing that gets me is that the whale kept at this for FOUR YEARS before deciding to stop. That's a lot of hope to dash - I can imagine that "Talking for treats" would have been the dealbreaker for this poor baby beluga.
D: indeed.

fondue with cheddar

I refuse to find this creepy because belugas are so cuuuuute!

katiemcgillicuddy

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea
Oh my god, we are terrible, I'm so sorry

Megasus

FIRST STAGE TO WORLD DOMINATION: COMPLETE.
Actually when the ice caps all melt and most of our landmasses get eaten by oceans, I fully expect whales/dolphins to take over the Earth.

aphrabean

@Megano! I really feel like that's a best-case scenario.

Megasus

@aphrabean yeah, I guess we have to not kill them all first, duh Megan

City_Dater

Ohhhh... It's like that Paul Zindel play with the dolphin who sings "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" for the cleaning lady in the lab and she tries to rescue him and it all just gets progressively more heartbreaking and crazy from there.

Well, maybe a little bit like that.

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one cow.

I love the title of this post so so much.

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