Valentine’s day can be a pretty lonely time for many people. Every day seems to be a lonely one for the whale in the North Pacific that sings at a unique frequency — 52 Hz — that no other whale uses to communicate.
Researchers and Navy submariners have been listening to this oddball whale for decades, but no one has seen him or her. In all those years the whale has been singing, no one has ever heard a reply.
Maybe it’s a hybrid between a fin and a blue whale. Maybe it’s a whale with a deformity or a speech impediment. But a team of filmmakers are launching an expedition to find him or her. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund it. If you want to show your love for the ocean this Valentine’s day, we strongly encourage you to support this effort to learn how this compelling story ends.
Here’s our connection. Much of our work focuses on the rising levels of ocean noise from shipping, oil and gas exploration, and other human activities in an increasingly industrialized ocean. Because whales rely on sound to communicate — sound is as important to them as vision is to us — that background noise masks the whales’ ability to find each other, navigate, find food or avoid predators. Human-generated noise causes whales to lose acoustic space. It causes their acoustic world to shrink. It isolates them from other members of their family and their species.
It’s hard to think of a better poster child (or whale) for isolation than the lonely, 52 Hertz whale. Please consider supporting this wonderful effort to learn more about this lonely whale. Keep up to date on their efforts by following them on Twitter.