“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
Whales can maneuver precisely through the world’s oceans and ice floes and among each other. Herman Melville noted this when he wrote in Moby Dick that whales seem to be guided by a “secret intelligence from the Deity.”
Much about that “secret intelligence” remains a secret to this day. It is known that sperm whales can echolocate in the same way that bats do. They send out a series of clicks from a special organ in their head. However, other species of whales lack that organ. Scientists think that other whales may use a less precise method of echolocation based on their low pitched calls.
Whales also use sounds to communicate with each other. Scientists have catalogued at least 23 different sperm whale click arrangements. Some of the patterns always follow other patterns, indicating that the clicks are a form of language. Some whales are believed to carry out conversations over thousands of miles. Scientists believe that some of the frequencies used by the whales allow them to communicate with other whales halfway around the world. The haunting melodies of the hump back whale are mating songs. The songs can last as long as 30 minutes. A humpback song will be the same within a single population of whales and sometimes within an entire ocean basin!
Whales are beautiful creatures. While they are intelligent, they are not as intelligent as once thought. However, they still glorify their Creator.
Dear heavenly Father, I thank You for making whales and showing forth Your glory and Godhead by giving them such wonderful abilities. Help me to use the abilities You have given me to glorify You, too. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Carpenter, Betsy, with Karen F. Schmidt. 1992. Whales. U.S. News & World Report, July 13. p. 58.