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Beluga whale mimics human voice

Posted on Tuesday, 23 October, 2012 | Comment icon 26 comments | News tip by: pallidin

Image credit: NOAA

Scientists have identified a beluga whale capable of producing eerily human-like vocalizations.

The abilities of a whale named 'Noc' were first observed in 1984 at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego when scientists reported hearing sounds coming from the whale and dolphin area that sounded like two people talking in the distance. They were able to pinpoint the source of the voices further when one diver surfaced from a dive believing that someone had told him to do so when in fact what he'd heard was Noc saying the word "out".

It is believed that Noc picked up human speech after hearing people talking both at the surface and over an intercom designed to talk to divers. Scientists proceeded to conduct further experiments by encouraging Noc to speak and rewarding him with treats when he did so. "We were amazed — the voiceprint really reminded us of humanlike sounds and unlike normal whale sounds," said researcher Sam Ridgway.

"Noc's speechlike sounds subsided after about four years, after he matured."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (26)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Junior Chubb on 23 October, 2012, 23:26
Great article, thanks for sharing it pallidin. I think the most amazing thing about Noc is that his voice matches his face...
Comment icon #18 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON on 24 October, 2012, 4:59
He sounds like me after a few ales, hic
Comment icon #19 Posted by Cherry- on 24 October, 2012, 11:54
Comment icon #20 Posted by Troublehalf on 24 October, 2012, 16:00
Tommy13... That reminds me very much about Dishonoured.... I wonder if that's where you got it from.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Alex Smith on 24 October, 2012, 16:21 this
Comment icon #22 Posted by jaguarsky on 26 October, 2012, 2:12
I watched this vid yesterday and it absolutely broke my heart.
Comment icon #23 Posted by C235 on 31 October, 2012, 16:13
Whales got talent.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Sundew on 1 November, 2012, 1:27
If you listen really close you can hear him say, "Call me Ishmael."
Comment icon #25 Posted by Zaphod222 on 28 November, 2012, 6:24
Bet he is saying "don´t shoot me" :-)
Comment icon #26 Posted by CuriousGreek on 29 November, 2012, 18:21
The great kingdom of nature

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