Because of their size and the various tales about them that have been told about humpback whales since the beginning of time, it might be simple for some people to think that they are inherently aggressive or dangerous. Whale attacks on humans are extremely rare, despite the fact that they can be harmful at times. Whales are typically relatively solitary creatures, so even if they are dangerous or aggressive, people are rarely in close enough proximity to be hurt by them.
Most individuals will never get close enough to a whale to worry about its behavior toward humans, whether it is friendly or violent. When people get close to whales, it’s typically in an aquarium or on a boat with smaller whales like belugas. The majority of the time, when divers reach whales in the ocean, they are so little that the whales do not perceive them as a threat. In addition to this, it’s crucial to remember that whales cannot devour humans because of their size.
Nonetheless, if you’re interested in learning how humpback whales react to people, keep reading.
How Do Humpback Whales React to Humans?
Whales are highly sociable animals that migrate in packs known as “pods.” They interact with one another by making a range of noises. Clicks, whistles, and pulsing calls are the three primary noises produced by whales.
Clicks are thought to be used for physical environment identification and navigation. The return of the sound waves to the whale after they have bounced off an object gives the whale the ability to recognize the shape of the object.
Even the distinction between friendly and predatory creatures can be made with the use of clicks. The fact that clicks have also been detected during social encounters raises the possibility that they have a communication purpose.
While engaging in social activities, whistles and pulsed calls are utilized. Pulsed calls are more common and, to the human ear, resemble squeaks, yells, and squawks. Within the same whale population, various pods have been shown to have distinct vocal “dialects”. This is probably so that whales can tell outsiders apart from whales in their pods.
Whales can also communicate nonverbally by slapping their tails and fins against the water’s surface. The noise, which can be heard hundreds of meters below the surface, may represent an aggressive warning or a tactic to assemble schools of fish for an easier meal.
Do Whales Communicate with Humans?
Clicks have also been noticed during social interactions, indicating that they might serve a communication purpose as well. According to a study, humpback whales produced the loudest sound that has ever been captured by an animal. It makes sense considering that whales are the biggest known species of animal. Yet, research from the University of California, San Diego in February 2012 found that whales are similarly sensitive to human noises.
It has been discovered that human-made noise, even when it does not coincide with the frequencies the whales utilize for communication, has an impact on the vocal activity of blue whales. When mid-frequency active sonar was present, blue whales were less likely to make sounds. When the sonar source was nearer to the animal, and the sound volume was higher, this reduction was more evident.
Between 10 and 30 seconds are covered in a blue whale call. They have been observed to communicate by calling to one another over long distances in the ocean, sometimes hundreds of miles apart. When feeding, warning, or courtship, blue whales are also assumed to call to one another in order to recognize one another as a species and as individuals.
How Are People Helping Humpback Whales?
When it comes to the various animals we live alongside in the world, especially those who are threatened with extinction, we, as humans, have a huge duty. Whales are one of the most amazing animal species to inhabit our waters. There are many things we can do to support the preservation of whales and other marine species. Let’s look at a couple of them.
- Use fewer goods manufactured from plastic.
- Monitor your carbon footprint.
- Contribute to groups that protect the ocean.
- Make a difference in your neighborhood.
- Travel with caution.