SAN DIEGO (October 22, 2012)--In a study published online Monday in Current Biology, researchers at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego say they recorded the spontaneous sounds of a captive male Beluga whale, while underwater and when he surfaced.
The whale song sounded so eerily human that divers initially mistook it for a human voice.
Scientists think the whale's close proximity to people allowed him to listen to and mimic human speech.
After several years, the whale went back to sounding like a whale, emitting high-pitched noises.
The whale died several years ago.
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