Dolphins Have Human-Like Conversations Underwater, Says Science - Atlas Obscura
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Dolphins Have Human-Like Conversations Underwater, Says Science

It’s probably all gossip.

Blah, blah, blah… (Photo: David B./CC BY-SA 2.0)

We may be getting one step closer to figuring out what dolphins are always gossiping about. According to the Telegraph, for the first time ever, researchers have recorded a human-like “conversation” between two dolphins, using specific “words” to form what seem like sentences.

It’s no secret that dolphins and whales have a complex and robust system of communication, that coincidentally makes for great new age relaxation albums. But for the first time, scientists at Russia’s Karadag Nature Reserve have now employed a special microphone to record the vocalizations of a pair of dolphins, and separate the tones from each by identifying their voices, as they talked directly to one another.

The scientists observed two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, Yasha and Yana, in a pool, and determined that their rhythmic clicks could be broken down into something similar to human speech patterns. After one dolphin would emit a series of clicks, which the researchers said could be identified as sentences consisting of up to five “words,” the other dolphin would wait to reply, never interrupting the other, much like two people having a polite conversation. Judging by this behavior, and the timed cadence of the vocalizations, it appears that they were talking to each other about… something.

Unfortunately, the content of the dolphin’s conversation remains a mystery. If their conversations are anything like our own, they were probably just gabbing about the price of fish.