Critter Corner: The Loneliest Animals (3/3)

[Opening this year’s Critter Corner is a series by Ian Corbet, “The Loneliest Animals in the World”. Below is the final segment.]

Full Disclosure: Though this article is in the Just 4 Fun category, there is nothing fun in it.

As if looking out over the vast, empty ocean at twilight on a beach with only a few lingering heroin-addicted bums as company didn’t make everyone feel sad and lonely enough, now there’s an added 180 ton reason your trying to hid your tear stained eyes from the judging expression of the homeless woman who’s waiting for you to turn away so she can steal your shoes. This 180-ton gentle giant is a male blue whale who has been nicknamed 52 Hertz due to the frequency of his voice, one that is virtually undetectable to any other member of his species.

His voice first intrigued scientists in 1989, and since then his life has consisted of an endless game of Marco-Polo (except that instead of playing in his friend’s rich step-mom’s pool, he’s playing in the whole ocean and his frequent calls of Marco is never returned). 52’s call is just too high to be heard by other blue whales, whose calls resonated at around 25 Hertz. There are many theories regarding the peculiarity of 52’s voice: he may be a new species of whale or he may in fact be deaf. Whatever the case, the main way that whales interact is through calls, and without this necessary skill, 52 is destined to swim through the dark, eternal waters of Sarah Palin’s Alaska until the sweet, hauntingly beautiful melody that he sings finally ceases and only echoes of the melancholy sound remain.

52 Hertz, trying to find companionship in a National Geographic photographer.

It is nice to imagine that one day, 52 might be swimming alone of the coast of some barren island, trying to stay close to shore just so the ocean does not seem so devoid, and will accidentally brush his tail ever so slightly against another of his species who has accidentally gone off her migration path transfixed by a beautiful melody. Unable to communicate, the two whale-lovers will have to be able to look past the superficial and rely on sight. Together they may be able to find love in hopeless ocean. (Patent pending for the Disney movie) Until this happens, the only thing that we may be able to take solace in is the fact that in the watery desert that 52 calls its home, no one can see him cry.

So the next time you’re trying to find the perfect Taylor Swift song to match the level of unhappiness you feel while looking at pictures of the person you never had the confidence to talk to and say how you really felt, remember that you’re not the worst off in the animal kingdom. Then, as you cry, think of all the sad animals: try and imagine that one day they will be in Heaven and will be happy. When this doesn’t work, eat. Eat until the pain stops. I recommend a mix of ice cream sandwiches and pure chocolate frosting. Really, anything that you know is bad for you is probably what you want to go with.

— Ian Corbet, Arts Editor

Posted by on November 12, 2012. Filed under Just 4 Fun. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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