One Smart Whale

beluga-whale-170101_640A pretty incredible beluga whale, Noc (pronounced No-see) has been working with his Navy trainer since the late 1970s. Originally, he was captured and trained to retrieve sunken experimental torpedoes in the Arctic, and now he works with his Navy trainers to test innovative military technology. According to Sam Ridgeway, marine biologist, the marine mammals formed a “family” bond with their trainers and dutifully carried out their tasks. 


“They come to think of us as family,” Ridgway told Smithsonian magazine. “And that’s the reason they stay with us. We have no way of completely controlling them, and yet they do their job and come back. They kind of view themselves as part of a team.”

Always eager and precocious, Noc wasn’t just performing Naval tasks, he was studying and listening as the diver spoke to each other.  While training in the tank, divers swore they heard the voice of their supervisor giving them a command to come out of the training tank, but what they actually heard was Noc making human-like sounds by over-inflating his nasal cavity to distort his voice. Now, that’s one smart whale. Learn more about beluga whales.

Take a listen to some of his recorded sounds.

This is in the St Lawrence around Saint-Fabien-sur-Mer, one of the most beautiful and accessible national parks of North America located within the Quebec province of Canada.