Talking to Whales

Scientists are using whales to learn about how other life forms might communicate

What can you learn from talking to whales? Lots!

In a recent study, scientists had a 20-minute conversation with a whale. They hope to use what they learned from this conversation to learn more about communicating with extraterrestrials, or aliens.

In the study, the scientists played a contact call that they had recorded. A contact call is like a greeting. It is like saying, “Hello.” It can also be used to tell other whales where they are. A nearby humpback whale named Twain responded to the scientists’ contact call.

The scientists repeated the contact call with different amounts of time in between. Twain would repeat the call. She would also mimic the amount of time in between calls. Twain seemed very curious. She circled the scientists’ boat. Scientists believe this is the first time that humans have communicated with whales.

Scientists think that extraterrestrials might try to communicate with humans in a similar way. They plan to use what they learned from the conversation to help them identify signals from extraterrestrials. What will they find?

What Do You Think? Do you think aliens would try to talk to us? Why or why not?

Photo Credit: Imagine Earth Photography/Shutterstock