This stunning film made my day yesterday. Worth the virtual reality software download to view:
I love reminders of human obliviousness. I wouldn’t call it stupidity, because human nature is not actually stupid. We are just oblivious to what is in front of our senses and often behave out of sync with what is in our best interest. Like the fact we coexist on the planet with such creatures as these, yet we kill(ed) them in large numbers. (Japan has been documented to kill a few in recent years despite global protection measures, but current threat to their survival along with most ocean beings is water warming and acidification).
Sperm whales’ brains are the largest ever known, around six times the size of humans’. They have an oversize neocortex and a profusion of highly developed neurons called spindle cells that, in humans, govern things like emotional suffering, compassion and speech.
The field of bioacoustics is especially fascinating to me, because I started life surrounded by music, and have spent 22 years earning a living by intently listening to audio. Human speech audio, that is. What I would give to be able to be immersed in nature and somehow earn a living listening to non-human speech. The almighty Word is central to so many human origin teachings and religions, but I’ve always believed words occur among all species, even plants, just in different code. It all boils down to sound waves, much of which cannot be decoded by our narrow range of human sensory interpretation.
Some human sensory spectrum:
- Humans can only see light wavelengths between 390 and 750 nanometers. Apparently we can visualize 10 to 12 different frames per second, though I’m not consciously aware of doing that.
- Hearing between 0 and 5 decibels, or between 125 and 12,000-20,000 Hz frequencies, decreasing over age 50 on average.
- Touch involves too much complexity for this blog.
With so many species perceiving beyond the human sensory spectrum, it makes sense we don’t need to go to other planets to seek intelligent life.