The 52-HERTZ WHALE is an individual whale of unidentified species, which calls at the very unusual frequency of 52 Hz . This pitch is a much higher frequency than that of the other whale species with migration patterns most closely resembling this whale's – the blue whale (10–39 Hz) or fin whale (20 Hz). It has been detected regularly in many locations since the late 1980s and appears to be the only individual emitting a whale call at this frequency. It has been described as the "world's loneliest whale".
* 1 Characteristics * 2 History * 3 Documentary * 4 Short film * 5 Music * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
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The sonic signature is that of a whale, albeit at a unique frequency. At 52 hertz, it is just higher than the lowest note on a tuba . The call patterns resemble neither blue nor fin whales , being much higher in frequency, shorter, and more frequent. Blue whales usually vocalize at 10–39 Hz, fin whales at 20 Hz. The 52-hertz calls of this whale are highly variable in their pattern of repetition, duration, and sequence, although they are easily identifiable due to their frequency and characteristic clustering. The calls have deepened slightly to around 49 hertz since 1992, suggesting the whale has grown or matured.
The track of the
Scientists at the
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Whatever biological cause underlies its unusually high frequency voice does not seem to be detrimental to its survival. The fact that the whale has survived and apparently matured indicates it is probably healthy. Still, its unique call is the only one of its kind detected anywhere and there is only one such source per season. Because of this, the animal has been called the loneliest whale in the world.
A feature-length documentary entitled 52: The Search for the
The Loneliest, a short mockumentary film about two women searching for the loneliest whale, was made in April 2014 by Lilian Mehrel, with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation .
Montreal-based saxophone player and composer Colin Stetson 's 2013 album New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light included a song entitled "Part of Me Apart From You". Though not explicitly written about the 52-hertz whale, when first performing the song live, he remarked on at least several occasions that the story of the "loneliest whale" resonated deeply with his composition. "This whale is alone in a large body of water, swimming, singing its song, calling for a likeness it will never find," he said by way of introducing the song at a performance at Toronto's Great Hall on 19 May 2013. "When I play this song, I can't help but think about this whale, who right at this very minute is singing alone."
South Korean hip-hop group BTS 's 2015 album The Most Beautiful
Moment in Life, Part 2 's fourth track, "Whalien 52", explicitly uses
The English folk duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman included the song "52 Hertz" on their 2015 album Tomorrow Will Follow Today. The song is about the whale and includes the line, "52 Hertz, 52 Hertz, I'm singing a love song that no-one can hear" in the chorus.
* ^ A B C Copley, John (10 December 2004). "Lonely whale\'s song
remains a mystery". New Scientist. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
* ^ A B "Blue Whale". The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Archived from
the original on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
* ^ "Maybe the World\'s Loneliest
* ^ A B C Nelson, Bryan (2012-05-20). "52 Hertz: The Loneliest
* Watkins, W. A., M. A. Daher, G. M. Reppucci, J. E. George, D. L. Martin, N. A. DiMarzio, and D. P. Gannon. 2000. "Seasonality and distribution of whale calls in the North Pacific". Oceanography 13:62–66. * Watkins, W. A., M. A. Daher, J. E. George, and D. Rodriguez. 2004. "Twelve years of tracking 52-Hz whale calls from a unique source in the North Pacific". Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 51:1889–1901.