This is a story that may make you cry but it will also make you marvel. It is the story of a whale, an enormous whale and yes we know all whales are big, but this one is really really big. It is also the loneliest whale in the world.
This is also a whale that has never been seen. How do we know it exists then, you ask? Because this whale has been heard. This is a whale that makes a lot of noise in the way that males whales do in mating season. There are ocean and marine biologists who track whales to learn about their habits and they track them by their sound and movement. This whale has been tracked by sound and by movement.
But this whale has never been seen.
It’s in the North Pacific Ocean and it may be a Fin Whale or it may be a Blue Whale. There are also rumours that it may be a mix of the two whales, a genetically mutated whale or a deformed whale.
Whale sounds and whale vibrations travel far which is why the exact location has not been found, but – we do know that whales are seen all the time. It is impossible not to see them because of their size. But not this whale. He is a lone whale, apparently and over a 12 year span his whale sounds were followed and recorded. The whale seemed to be communicating at a different frequency to other whales.
People started thinking the whale was calling for a mate but perhaps – no other whales could hear him. Maybe his frequencies were wrong. Maybe he was alone and desperate.
The story of the whale that could not be seen was a story that suddenly hit the news. The major American and English news channels picked up on it and started reporting on the whale. It was a great story. ‘The Loneliest Whale in the World. Reporters went crazy. And the fact that journalists were now following the story made it even more important for scientists and biologists to find the whale. And so the search went on, using high-tech, reputable equipment.
It was very clear that the whale was alive. It was very clear that he was eating, cruising, swimming and living. It wasn’t clear if he had a mate or a family with him, but it did not seem so to anyone. But the idea of a whale being alone and lonely captured the imagination of the world. And the idea of a whale perhaps not being able to communicate because of wrong frequencies also captured the imagination of the world.
Humanity wanted to help. People wanted to help. People wanted to find the whale.
The scientists who had first discovered the whale did not want a media circus. But because the world was captivated, they continued with their search to find the whale. The whale became known as 52 Hertz. 52 Hz is a frequency. People wrote songs about the whale. Children’s books were written, a documentary was made, there was Youtube footage although it is unlikely it was ever of 52 Hertz and a movie was made. The world was obsessed. They wanted to find 52 Hertz and help him. No-one liked the idea of a whale singing into the void.
If you want to watch the documentary or movie, look for ‘The Loneliest’ and also ‘The Search for the Loneliest Whale.’
It’s a story about nature. There are many animals that are solitary. But many whales are not solitary and they do at least come together for mating. They also communicate (lions roar, elephants trumpet) with one another. This whale was alone.
But where was it? It is not possible for an animal to be searched for, for over a dozen years, and never be found.
Was there a whale at all, many people have wondered. This could be something otherworldly, from another life. This could be a strange phenomena that we could not understand. There had to be other options.
This is where so many theories come in. There are many biblical tales about sea animals. Jonah and the Whale is one. Chekov wrote a story called Sorrow, about a man who was desperate to tell his story about his dead son and only a horse would listen. The world is fascinated about fantastical stories between man and animal. It is possible that this story of the Lonely Whale, of 52 Hertz, is a total fantasy. Perhaps it is a story that man made up so that there could be a Love Story. Perhaps in the end the whale finds his mate, has many baby whales and lives happily ever after.
The thing is, we will never know. There is definite scientific evidence of this whale existing. The sounds were monitored by ocean biologists or marine biologists using the most high-tech equipment. The sounds were not fabricated, they are real. And the fact that the 52 Hertz frequencies are different are real too.
Perhaps this is one story of man and beast where we don’t want to know the ending. Maybe this large whale died of loneliness. That is a terrible story because it makes us think of our own loneliness. Perhaps we are much happier thinking that the whale is still out there, looking for a mate and when he finds it, she will be perfect. Perhaps we don’t want to think the whale could be dead. That would be too much of a heartbreaker.
And maybe the one explanation that has no explanation at all is the mystery of the whale. Sometimes, things are mysterious. They are other-worldly. In the same way people have other worldly experiences that can never be explained, or see things that are not really there, perhaps this whale is other worldly.
I have a feeling we do not need to worry about him at all.