Scientists Just Had A Groundbreaking conversation With A Humpback Whale 

Scientists Just Had A Groundbreaking conversation With A Humpback Whale 

Do whales and aliens have anything in common? Actually, yes.

In a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Peer J, scientists of UC Davis, the Alaska Whale Foundation, and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) have teamed up to prove so.

Their mission was to communicate with whales and they did it. In a historic experiment the team had a 20-minute conversation with a humpback whale called Twainin the language it would understand.

The scientists sailed a boat off the coast of Alaska and played a “contact call” out into the ocean. They were checking to see if any of the whales would respond.

Contact calls are similar to human greetings. Whales use these calls to let ecah other know where they are. Brenda McCowan, lead author and professor at UC Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine explained to Business Insider.

Fred Sharpe, co-author and principal investigator with the Alaska Whale Foundation said, “They are one of the most common signals within the humpback whale social sound repertoire.”

Soon enough, Twain swam up to the boat and started circling it. For the next 20 minutes, the scientists emitted the same contact call 36 times and at varying intervals. Twain responded to the call everytime, closely matching the intervals.

What that means is if the scientists waited 10 seconds before playing the call back, Twain would also wait 10 seconds before responding. This interval matching suggests that Twain was engaged in an intentional exchange. Sharpe told BI, “It certainly felt like we had been heard. And we hope that she felt the same way, too. We believe this is the first such communicative exchange between humans and humpback whales in the humpback ‘language.'”

The research is set to help humans make contact with aliens, in the event of extraterrestrial existence.

“There are diverse intelligences on this planet, and by studying them, we can better understand what an alien intelligence might be like, because they’re not going to be exactly like ours,” says McCowan.Doyle added, “Whale research has indicated if you’re intelligent, curiosity comes along with that, and you want to make contact.”

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