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Why Do Whales Sing?

Whales use sounds to communicate with each other in the oceans. A few baleen whales can even sing. Blue, fin, bowhead, minke and humpback whales all sing. Their songs are variable in length, they have sophisticated patterns. One humpback whale was recorded singing repeatedly at his breeding grounds for 22 hours!

Whale songs evolve over time as they learn new melodies from other whales, it’s a cultural thing. We’re not sure why they sing but it seems to be the males singing and so we think it might be to attract mates and warn others away. If we keep listening to their songs, maybe one day we will truly understand what the whales are saying.

You can learn more about why whales sing in this beautifully animated 5 min film.