When you enjoy the simple pleasures that I do – heavy metal, zombie movies, all things Batman – it’s not often that life imitates art in a way that you can appreciate. Sometimes, though, Mother Earth will surprise me with just how cool she is.
Case in point: Generations of musicians have been taking Black Sabbath-esque riffs and dragging them to lower, slower depths. We’re at the point now where some of the best guitar riffs are just a single chord degrading over the course of a few minutes at 32Hz.
The songs of male blue whales, long thought to be the way they attract mates, have likewise been getting lower over the last 40 years, and in some populations have dropped in frequency by as much as 30 percent (mind you that whale songs were already mostly too low for human ears to hear).
Besides a desire to jump on the drone bandwagon before the Next Big Thing comes along, what could be prompting the whales to lower their songs so much, so quickly?
The scientists researching the trend can’t explain it, but hypothesize that it might be because the whale population is rebounding after years of commercial whaling bans, and with more whales around, a lower song gives a male an edge when attracting a mate.