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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Noc the beluga whale mimicked human speech patterns

by Take Two

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A visitor admires a beluga or white whale, the latest attraction at the Beijing aquarium on September 20, 2011. Beijing is expecting a surge of tourist arrivals during the upcoming national day holidays. STR/AFP/Getty Images

New research shows the first documented case of a whale spontaneously mimicking human speech. Producer Meghan McCarty explains the curious case of Noc, the talking white whale.

Listen to Noc the Beluga whale warbling in a human voice, several octaves lower than typical whale calls. The National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego first made the discovery in 1984 when they heard mumbling coming from a tank containing whales and dolphins that sounded like two people chatting far away. The research was published on Monday.

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