Scientists Had A 20-Minute “Contact Call” With A Humpback Whale, And Now Experts Hope This Milestone Will Help Bring Us One Step Closer To Communicating With Extraterrestrial Life

Zien - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual whale

When I think of whale calls and the sounds those magnificent creatures of the sea make, the first thing in my mind that pops up is that scene from “Finding Nemo,” where Dory the fish communicates to a whale that brings them where they need to be.

But did you know that the science behind whale calls and communication may be able to bring us one step closer to extraterrestrial life?

For years and years, humans have been on the search for signs of extraterrestrial life and ‘aliens.’ 

One scientific organization, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), has been working diligently to see if there will ever be a way for humans to communicate with extraterrestrial life. Recently, they’ve been turning to whales.

Even if you’re not a whale expert, if you know anything about the big beasts, you know they communicate in very special ways.

Scientists with SETI realized they could use humpback whale communication as a way to practice communicating with non-human life forms. 

In 2023, scientists at SETI, alongside the University of California Davis and the Alaska Whale Foundation, played recordings of a humpback whale contact call through an underwater speaker in the ocean.

For a while, many whales ignored the recorded call, but then, something amazing happened.

One humpback whale, the scientists, called Twain not only responded to the call in a conversational manner but approached and circled the scientists’ boat.

Zien – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual whale

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2