Audio Captured Of Whales Speaking English

Orca whales have been recorded for the first time attempting to imitate human language

It has long been known that Orca whales have been able to communicate with each other over vast distances in the wild. Using a form of communication known as echolocation Orca whales or killer whales as they are more commonly known can produce clicks, whistles, pulsed calls, jaw claps and low-frequency pops to help them coordinate and navigate whilst hunting in deep water where sight is redundant.

A recent experiment at Marine land, Antibes in France, has revealed that these incredible mammals are capable of mimicking human speech patterns. Killer whales have previously been filmed imitating other sea mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and other whales but until now there was no documented scientific proof of their ability to mimic humans.


A 14-year-old female Orca called Wikie has now been recorded repeating the words “Hello”, “Goodbye” and even counting one, two, three on commands from her trainer. Wikie was trained to understand a “copy” command from her trainer then was played sounds to repeat back. On successful repetition of a sound or word Wikie was rewarded with a fish for positive reinforcement. Listen here’s to the audio of Wikie with her trainer.

Six researchers were tasked with confirming the accuracy of the Orcas imitations. The findings of the experiment were published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

As remarkable as these findings are, it’ll probably be a while before you can have a delightful conversation about your favourite fish supper with a killer whale. What would you ask a killer whale? Leave us a comment below.

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32, writer, rocker, master of monologues and the worlds leading expert on training rodents to become proficient using word processing software. Studied English literature and Creative writing at Bangor University.

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