Humpback Whale Song

Humpback whales are known for their singing. This, for example, is a large male hanging out below the surface while belting out his rendition of the seasonal melody:

humpback whale singer
Humpback whale singer (License image) (Purchase print)

Humpback songs differ by location and evolve over time.

This season, I had my first opportunity to hear the difference between songs in two different locations during a single season...first in Tonga (see video clip here for the song in Tonga this season), and more recently, via this recording that my friend Rodolphe made in French Polynesia.

[audio src=""]Song courtesy Tahiti Private Expeditions

Even without being a Megaptera melody veteran, you can hear the difference in both structure and quality of the songs. By "quality" I'm referring to the resonance of the Polynesian song vs. the one in Tonga, which is the result of a difference in terrain.

The singer in the video from Tonga was in a relatively enclosed area, while the one in Polynesia was in an open one. Think of the difference in sound quality as being similar to hearing a concert in a small venue vs. the same concert in a large auditorium. Bigger venue = bigger sound. 

Anyway, if you want to start the week with a smile, take a few minutes to listen the crazy cetacean crooning.