Listen: A remarkably soothing hourlong underwater symphony of humpback whales singing

I quickly discovered that I might put this recording on whereas I labored and—after that first disconcerting trumpet-like sound—it really turned a stress-free piece of music and helped me focus. After all I’m a whale-sound-loving weirdo and it’s possible you’ll discover it a totally unusual expertise, however maybe you’ll agree.

This recording is uncommon as a result of more often than not once I’ve recorded humpbacks it’s been in Hawaii, when they’re busily engaged in courtship and mating rituals, which is what scientists consider their songs are associated to. Most of those recordings characteristic dozens of different humpback whales becoming a member of in on a refrain—and naturally, one of many outstanding issues about these whales is that they’re all singing the identical piece of music.

That’s not what occurs on this recording. As a substitute, what we seem like listening to is the 2 adults singing quick phrases to the juvenile, who then responds with what appear to be a lot higher-pitched variations of the identical vocalizations. In different phrases: We all know that humpbacks by some means are in a position to cross alongside the data of those songs to one another, and what we could also be listening to is that technique of cultural transmission going down.

Whatever the nature of what we’re listening to, there’s an ethereal magnificence to all of it that makes human music appear … primitive. Get pleasure from!

Right here’s a recording of humpbacks singing as a refrain off the coast of Maui.