Whale songs; the eerily soothing and often surprising sounds that are great for a long hot bath, just ask the Dude. For years, scientists have been on a quest to decode killer whale songs so
that we may better understand what these magnificent denizens of the deep are saying behind our backs.
It’s a mammoth task; there are so many sounds and they differ from whale to whale and pod to pod. In a new move to expedite the process, researches at Scientific American and Zooniverse are appealing to ‘citizen scientists’ to help. All you need is some time and an internet connection.
Simply log onto Whale.fm and listen to one of the 15, 000 recorded killer whale and orca songs. Each recording presents a ‘main’ song and then 36 other versions – your job is to pick the version that most closely matches the main song. You can also see spectrograms of each song for a more visual comparison.
If you are a dedicated volunteer, you can track your whale’s positions in the ocean and set up your own user account. This is a really worthy cause as you help scientist wade through the imposing volumes of information, you can help them move closer to an understanding of these amazing mammals.
The video below is an example of the whale songs you can expect to hear on Whale.fm.