Meet “NOC”, a beluga whale who is trying to learn to speak human. Or at least that’s what a few researchers seem to think. If you listen to what a normal beluga whale should sound like and compare it to what NOC sounds like, you can see there is a noticeable difference in the audio clip.
Supposedly this whale went from sounding like a regular beluga whale to spontaneously mimicking human speech patterns. Personally, this is cool to see, but not all together surprising. We have always known seas mammals (dolphins especially) are amazing creatures and very intelligent ones too. When you mix that with a dash of evolution, you’ll get amazing things if you just have patience.
For decades, marine researchers have recounted tales of marine mammals like whales and dolphins imitating the cadence, tone and intonation of human speech. Indeed, dolphins have even been trained to do exactly this. But spontaneous human speech mimicry? That was a different story, and the lack of any audio evidence made confirmation of reports difficult to confirm or analyze.
So what do you guys think of this? Is it just a cheap (albeit very cool) trick being played by the whale or is it possible that we could one day carry on a conversation with our sea fairing brethren?
I for one welcome our new whale overlords and look forward to their glorious rule!