Now playing in select theaters across the country, and coming to digital on July 16, 2021 is the fascinating documentary, The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52.
Decades ago (1989) the U.S. Navy was doing research when they heard an unusual sound. Initially they thought what they were hearing was a Russian submarine. A marine scientist name William A. Watkins heard the sounds and was certain what they were hearing was not a submarine, but rather the sounds of a whale. The strange thing is that these whale sounds were at a different frequency than any other whale sound ever heard.
The sound was indeed coming from a whale, which was nicknamed “52” after the 52 hertz frequency of his calls.
Until his death in 2004, Watkins did his best to track “52” and know of his whereabouts.
The whale became known as the “loneliest whale in the world” because the frequency of his calls could not be heard by any other whale. That means no one heard him calling or his beautiful songs. He had no way of communicating with other whales, including whales of his own species (no one really knew what kind of whale he was).
Mega superstars, BTS, even wrote and sung a song about 52 called Whalien 52.
Documentary film maker, Joshua Zeman, has always loved whales after seeing them while working on a ship when he was younger. He heard about 52 and found his story fascinating. He decided he wanted to go on a quest to find 52, and to see if he’s still alive and if he truly is one of a kind.
Of course you just can’t put together a ship, scientists and all the special equipment you need for such an expedition. It took four years of planning and preparing before they were ready to set sail. After all that time, they only had one week to find him. That is like finding a needle in a haystack. Fifty two is just one whale in the enormous ocean.
Fifty two had last been heard off the coast of California, so that is where the group chose to look for him. They also felt like 52 might be following groups of other whales, even though they could not communicate with each other.
There are a lot of Blue Whales and Fin Whales off the coast of California, and there was speculation that maybe 52 was some kind of hybrid of those two types of whales.
The big question on everyone’s minds is can 52 really feel loneliness? Whales have huge brains, and they have been shown to show happiness and sadness, so why not loneliness?
People really connect with 52 because in a way, many people can relate to him. There are times in all of our lives where we feel lonely. Worse yet, feeling like no one is truly hearing you.
If you Google 52 whale, or the loneliest whale in the world, you’ll find a lot of material on him.
Does the crew find 52 before their week is up? Can they find proof of other whales that speak at 52 hertz? Is 52 even alive? To find out, go see The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52. Look for it at a theater near you, or purchase the film when it’s available on digital on July 16, 2021.
I found this film fascinating. Not only in regards to 52, but also all of the interesting facts and information provided about whales. I find whales to be fascinating creatures. I saw some up close about 25+ years ago off the shore of Massachusetts. They are beautiful creatures.
Like many others, I was curious to see if 52 was the only whale of his kind, or if it was possible he could speak and be heard to other whales of his species. I wanted to find out if 52 was male or female, and if it had any offspring. You’ll have to watch the film in order to find out for yourself.
I could have done without seeing dead whales hit by ships in the shipping lanes. The shipping lanes off the coast of California are the busiest shipping lanes in the United States. Over 90% of what we use comes from some place else, and these goods are mostly delivered by ships.
I also found it sad to know that a ship’s sounds are 10,000 times greater than natural sounds. It’s noise pollution for whales and other sea creatures. The noise from the ships make it difficult for sea creatures to communicate.
I’m glad that I had the opportunity to view the documentary, and to learn the fate of 52. If you are into fascinating documentaries, or if you are a whale lover, then you’ll definetly want to see this film.
Below is the trailer for your entertainment.
*I received a free screener link in order to view the film. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.