Live Sounds: The Mesmerising Song Of The Eastern Australian Humpback Whale

Whales do have their own language. | By NGT Staff  
humpback whale jumping
The humpback whale family includes many subspecies like the eastern Australian humpback whale. This photo is for illustrative purposes. Photo: Richard Fisher/Flickr/Creative Commons (

Whale songs are some of the most haunting and beautiful sounds in the animal kingdom. The calls of these majestic animals reverberate through the oceans, giving them an almost other-worldly tone. Today we’re sharing the sounds of the eastern Australian humpback whale.

Each year, these mammals swarm Australia’s eastern coasts between April and November to mate and give birth. The eastern Australian humpback whale grows upto 16m in length and is one of the country’s most iconic animals.

Today’s recordings come from the Oceania Project, an independent, non-profit research organisation that works to protect whales, dolphins and the oceans. Studying the eastern Australian humpback whale has been the group’s first long-term project.

Here’s what the Oceania Project had to say about these whale songs: “The humpback whale songs repeat in cycles of anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. Individual whales have been documented as singing continuously for up to 24 hours. The whales each sing the same cycle, although they each commence the song cycle at different intervals. So a low-frequency pulse may be responded to by a high-frequency pulse, giving them sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging) feedback on each other’s position. The song is clearly audible through the hull of the research vessel, although the sound pressure level of the song is reduced significantly once it passes into the air. Because water is denser than air, it is a much better conduit for sound. If a singer is close, you can hear the song while standing on the deck. If you enter the water, the song is then felt at its full sound pressure level, which is the equivalent of a jet engine or a loud rock concert.”

Below are two examples of the songs of these beautiful creatures.



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