Dolphin Whistle Translated For The First Time; Says Seaweed

Scientists have had a hard time to record and prove that dolphins follow a particular language. Not anymore, though. Thanks to a new dolphin translator that works just as well underwater. Dr. Denise Herzing was the first to hear a dolphin whistle ‘sargassum’ during her swim in the Caribbean. Just so that you know, ‘sargassum’ is a form of seaweed.

Dolphin translator

Erik Olsen/The New York Times

Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT) device made at Georgia Institute of Technology comprises a keyboard with four symbols that can fit to one’s arm. Each symbol represents a specific animal sound and the speaker is a means of communicating with a dolphin. Hydrophones inside the device localize the dolphin’s whistles. Moreover, it is able to detect natural sounds produced by dolphins to help determine its meaning.


When Dr. Herzing heard the dolphin ‘say’ sargassum, it was her own voice that the machine translated the whistle in. Importantly, this was the only time that this call was heard and the first time CHAT was successfully used. Though, the team of divers accompanying Dr. Herzing did hear 73 various whistles which it perceived to be a means of response to human call. The team wishes to talk more about its latest discovery later this year in Italy.

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