This video of a 9 year old beluga whale seemingly dancing to some mariachi music has surfaced recently. It was shot during a wedding ceremony that took place in Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. The whale seemed to bob his head and follow the rhythm of the music. A lot of people would like to believe that this is exactly what the whale was doing. However, scientific research shows that whales can’t hear the music the way we do. They simply feel the vibrations. But, that in itself, is a powerful gift.
The underwater environment of the world’s oceans is filled with a variety of sounds. Most aquatic animals use sound for communications between members of their species. The reason for this is that sounds propagates well in water and covers longer distances.
Whales depend on sound vibration for orientation. This ability is important for predators of the deep sea where light is greatly reduced. They use sound waves in echolocation and this allows them to detect objects and organisms by means of sonar. Whales, as well as many other marine animals, use a form of song to communicate through the water. A whale will use their songs most often as mating calls for the opposite sex.
You can listen to the marine sounds around the world on their site. Please click on the link below. This is quite a unique experience to be able to hear underwater sounds across the globe.
If you wish to enhance your understanding of the underlying principles of underwater and engineering acoustics needed to evaluate the impact of anthropogenic noise on marine life, please attend ATI’s Underwater Acoustics for Biologists and Conservation Managers course that will be presented on October 17-20, 2011 in Seattle, WA.