Hear: A remarkably soothing hourlong underwater symphony of humpback whales singing


I quickly discovered that I might put this recording on whereas I labored and—after that first disconcerting trumpet-like sound—it truly grew to become a stress-free piece of music and helped me focus. In fact I’m a whale-sound-loving weirdo and it’s possible you’ll discover it a very unusual expertise, however maybe you’ll agree.

This recording is uncommon as a result of more often than not after I’ve recorded humpbacks it’s been in Hawaii, when they’re busily engaged in courtship and mating rituals, which is what scientists consider their songs are associated to. Most of those recordings function dozens of different humpback whales becoming a member of in on a refrain—and naturally, one of many outstanding issues about these whales is that they’re all singing the identical piece of music.

That’s not what occurs on this recording. As a substitute, what we seem like listening to is the 2 adults singing quick phrases to the juvenile, who then responds with what appear to be a lot higher-pitched variations of the identical vocalizations. In different phrases: We all know that humpbacks by some means are capable of cross alongside the information of those songs to one another, and what we could also be listening to is that strategy of cultural transmission happening.

Whatever the nature of what we’re listening to, there’s an ethereal magnificence to all of it that makes human music appear … primitive. Take pleasure in!

Right here’s a recording of humpbacks singing as a refrain off the coast of Maui.