East Australian Humpback Whale Song 1998

We present to you the song of Migaloo, the White Humpback Whale. We extracted only the most poignant samples from our 1998 recording of Migaloo’s two hours of singing. ‘Migaloo’ means ‘White Fella’. He was named by Australian Aboriginal Elders.

Photo – Dan Burns,
Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre.

The high frequency pulses of Humpback Whale song when viewed with a spectrogram ascend into the 48 kHz range. The human ear is only ‘specified’ to a maximum 24 kHz frequency response. Thus using the spectrogram software we can see but not hear the syncopation in the upper frequencies.

Three researchers in Hawaii, two computer engineers and a marine biologist, have created a computer application to assess the entropy of whale sounds (loss of energy from a system in this case sound frequency) and have compared them to a range of human languages. They have concluded that Humpback sounds are equivalent to human languages.

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