Do you ever wonder what it is like to truly be alone; to be utterly incapable of finding anyone to share your time with? There is a whale swimming the Pacific ocean in complete solitude and is considered by many to be the loneliest creature on the planet. The reason for this is because of the fact that this particular whale communicates at a much higher frequency, about 52 Hz, than the average whale which communicates at much lower frequencies. Because of this the other whales cannot recognize this particular one and therefore it fails to find any companions.
The tale of the lonely whale dates back to 1989 when William Watkins of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute was sifting through audio recordings and recognized an unfamiliar frequency. From this point, more recordings of a similar nature were made especially by the Navy. Scientists say that it is incredibly easy to track this particular whale due to the strange frequency. Although this whale has been heard, it is still unknown as to what species it is due to a lack of a visual. It is speculated that the whale may be a cross between a fin and a blue whale causing the unique vocalizations.
It is assumed that the whale is consistently alone, and there is good reasoning behind it. This particular whale attempts to call and sing on a regular basis, but there is never a response. This whale is lacking the socialization that most require to thrive through the utilization of pods. It is broadcasting on the wrong levels, but it has the ability to receive the calls of other whales which is shown by the numerous attempts to respond.
This particular case appears to have captured the eye of Hollywood, as filmmakers and scientists are set to start some documentary work this fall. This is not the only attention that this whale has received. Although recordings have been taken for over 20 years, many individuals who have only heard the sad tale of the creature have been inspired. Many individuals have taken to writing poetry, songs, and literature about this whale.
LaPointe, Leonard L. "Chapter 15: The Lonely Whale." Voices: Collected Essays on Language, Laughter, and Life. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, 2010. N. pag. Print.
"The Loneliest Whale in the World?" DNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. <http://news.discovery.com/animals/whales-dolphins/loneliest-whale-in-the-world-130715.htm>.
Nyssa Silbiger: #IAmSeaGrant
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