https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/environment/563278-scientists-are-tracking-the-loneliest-whale-in

The loneliest whale with a high pitch voice lives in the north Pacific, and for more than 30 years, it has been “crying” into the void of the ocean.

Researchers are making a documentary of a whale, nicknamed the “Jezebel Monster,” that has been stranded and calling for other whales, The Guardian reported.


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It was during the Cold War that the U.S. military had set up a network of hydrophones to monitor Soviet submarines. However, what operators managed to find was a lone whale making low-frequency moans by the late 1980s.

The Pentagon gave whale researchers like William Watkins, a trailblazer in tracking the sounds of marine mammals, access to the network.

Most whales have a vocalization that reaches between 15Hz and 30Hz, but the loneliest whale was vocalizing at 52Hz, with the equivalent of a human speaking voice sounding like Mickey Mouse, The Guardian reported.

For a decade, Watkins and his team have been tracking the whale and published a 2004 paper on the underwater sound systems on how the Pentagon has been tracking a single whale.

Documentary filmmaker and producer of such series as “The Killing Season” and “The Sons of Sam,” Joshua Zeman began developing a movie when he heard about the whale. Soon after, he became obsessed with the whale.

Instead of filming, he became a fundraiser for finding the loneliest whale in the world after it had been undetected for some time. While scientists assumed the whale was dead, Zeman had raised $400,000 on Kickstarter to set out a voyage for the missing whale.

It was upon a lucky chance that an intern noticed that the whale moved from the Gulf of Alaska, or the eastern north Pacific, to a region closer to Los Angeles.

The problem is that part of the California coast will be one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, a situation Zeman described as the “villain” of the documentary.

“I didn’t expect that we would wind up having a villain,” says Zeman. “I get all the way out there and you’re telling me that part of the reason we can’t hear [the whale] is because of this thing?”

Zeman’s documentary, “The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52,” is now available on digital platforms.


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