Whales’ “Vocal Fry” is Similar to the One of Humans

Whales’ “Vocal Fry” is Similar to the One of Humans

Whales are such unique creatures that they make other animals look like they’re just phoning it in. From their ginormous size to their incredible intelligence, there’s no doubt that whales are some of the most remarkable creatures on the planet.

First things first, let’s talk about their size. Whales are so big that you could fit an entire football team in their mouths The blue whale, for instance, can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh as much as 200 tons! That’s like having 33 elephants stacked on top of each other!

But it’s not just their size that makes whales unique. They’re also incredibly intelligent creatures. In fact, some species of whales are known to have brains that are even larger than the brains of humans! Imagine what they could accomplish if they had thumbs!

But there’s more when it comes to how unique whales are!

Whales can find prey through vocal fry

Whales, such as orcas, dolphins, porpoises, and sperm whales, have been found to use “vocal fry” in addition to their normal and falsetto vocal registers. This discovery was made in a study published in the journal Science, and it was spotted by The Washington Post.

The study found that these toothed whales use vocal fry to help them navigate and find prey in the ocean. Echolocation is a crucial skill for these whales, especially since they hunt in nearly complete darkness in waters that can be noisy due to waves and other ocean sounds. The vocal fry register allows the whales to make echolocation clicks that are particularly efficient in using air, which is precious underwater.

The researchers discovered that the whales produce all their sounds with the same organ, the phonic lips in their nose, which vibrate like a larynx in humans. To come to this conclusion, the researchers filmed tissue motion on trained bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises with a high-speed camera, as well as taped wild whales with small sound-recording tags.

Interestingly, vocal fry has become a controversial topic among humans, particularly in America. Many young women and some celebrities, such as the Kardashians, Scarlett Johansson, and Katy Perry, have been criticized for using vocal fry in their speech. However, for whales, vocal fry is not a social trend but rather a critical tool for their survival.

Overall, the study sheds light on yet another fascinating aspect of these amazing creatures, highlighting how their unique adaptations allow them to thrive in their oceanic habitats.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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