Blue Dot: Whale-SETI: a communications interaction with Twain the Humpback Whale
In this very special episode, Host Dave Schlom visits with three researchers who were part of an incredible series of experimental communications with a humpback whale off the coast of Alaska.
Animal behavior scientist Brenda McCowan joins Dave from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Fred Sharpe from the WhaleSETI Team and Laurance Doyle from the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA.
All three were co-authors of the paper, “Interactive Bioacoustic Playback as a Tool for Detecting and Exploring Nonhuman Intelligence: “Conversing” with an Alaskan Humpback Whale," which was recently published in the journal Peer J. After serendipitously getting recordings of a pod of whales including a female named Twain, the researchers used hydrophones to playback the whale's communications.
They received astounding interactions with the female Humpback whale. You'll find Twain's behaviors and vocalizations eerie and fascinating. The study has major implications for the possibilities of interspecies communications on Earth and beyond as part of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.