New York City is loud. Cars are honking, people are yelling into their cell phones, and trucks are making that damn “BEEP BEEP” noise when they back up on literally every block of the city. And yesterday, Science Times uncovered a new source of sound pollution, coming from literally all around us: WHALES. Apparently, they’re out there in New York Harbor swimming, humping, breaching, and singing. “This is an exciting time for New Yorkers,” said Chris Clark, director of the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Just think, just miles from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Carnegie Hall and Times Square, the great whales are singing!”
Apparently, there are many more whales (including endangered right, fin, and humpback varieties) in the waters around New York than scientists had previously thought. And if you listen closely enough, you can hear them calling to one another. Unfortunately, there are far too many big ships and small craft buzzing around in our waters for these guys to live in complete safety — according to Clark, it would be like trying to raise a family “in the middle of the Long Island Expressway.” So the whales don’t have it as easy as, say, those dudes who are similarly drifting around looking for food and singing on the subway.
Now, being from New England, your Daily Intel editors have loved whales ever since a preteen Ben Affleck taught us all about them on The Voyage of the Mimi. But we can see how New Yorkers would not necessarily see this secret cephalopod invasion as a good thing. What are they doing here? What do they want? HOW CAN YOU TRUST A MAMMAL THAT STAYS UNDERWATER FOR TEN MINUTES AND DOESN’T DIE? It’s very scary, we know. Just trust us (and Ben Affleck). Whales are beautiful, harmless creatures (except for dangerous killer whales like Shamu). We should welcome them into our city with open arms. Provided that they keep it down between 1 and 8 a.m.
Whale Songs Are Heard For First Time Around New York City Waters [Science Times]
THAR SHE BLOWS [NYP]