In 1989, Naval stations on the Pacific coast picked up unidentifiable sounds in the ocean. And when analysts realized it was a whale, they noticed it was vocalizing at a frequency different than any other whale song ever recorded.
In this story, contributor Lilly Sullivan explores the world around what’s become known as the 52-hertz Whale, named after its higher-than-average singing frequency. When it calls out, it never gets a response, so scientists theorize it’s unable to hear – or be heard – by other whales.
People have written poems and songs about it, and because whales such as this one live almost 100 years, some have started calling it another name: "The Loneliest Creature on Earth."
This story was originally produced in the Transom Story Workshop.