The Loneliest Whale In the World

For 24 years, scientists have been tracking a vast, lovelorn mammal whose high-pitched call has stopped him from finding a mate. For years he has roamed the ocean, singing unrequited love songs, searching for a soul to share his solitary world. Although he swims in waters that are populated by thousands of other whales, no female ever responds because his voice is unusually high for a whale — about 52 Hertz — which is what researchers have named him. 52 Hertz has come to symbolize the hopeless romantic in us all. Though the lonely whale has never been seen, many have heard his watery love songs, recorded by scientists and U.S. Navy sonar detectors. His voice would sound deep to a human — similar to the notes on a tuba — but it’s extremely high-pitched to other whales……like playing a piccolo at a Harley-Davidson rally. Regular whales sing at about 15-20 Hertz, a bone-shaking low-bass rumble, well below the range of normal human hearing. That’s why it’s so hard for 52 Hertz to attract a female. While he continues to moan his unrequited songs of romantic longing scientists confess that they can't know what truly lies in the heart and mind of a whale, no matter how unloved. "We don't know if he's lonely," said oceanographer Mary Ann Daher. "The supposed emotional yearnings of 52 Hertz say much more about the humans who hear his story than it does about the whale himself.”