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The songs that saved the whales

06.12.2020
Příroda
Fifty years ago a haunting album of whale calls became an unlikely global hit and kickstarted the ban on hunting. On the anniversary our writer talks to the US scientist who started it allRoger Payne has played the sounds made by humpback whales to thousands of people - "more than thousands," he corrects himself - in the past 50 years. He has played sections in schools, in churches, on TV talk shows, at the UN; he's played them to singers, musicians, politicians and other scientists. The response is always the same. For the first 30 seconds, there is mumbling, sometimes awkward giggling as the audience gets used to the deep, rumbling groans and high-pitched squeaks (this is when the TV shows usually cut it off). But leave it longer - at least five minutes, ideally half an hour - and Payne finds a strange thing happens. "In that time, the audience would go totally silent," says the 85-year-old, on a video call from rural Vermont. "You were unaware there was anybody in the room and then, when I killed it, there would be this... inhalation. You would hear people basically coming out of a kind of trance. That was the clue that, 'This is changing the lives of these people.' And that's how I think we've got it to really make a difference." Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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