In a recent rare occurrence, a bomb detector was used to discover a previously unknown group of rare blue whales. These aquatic creatures, which are the smallest sub-species of the massive gentle giant Blue whales are difficult to find because they are a very rare species. Researchers from University of NSW have claimed to discovered this new group, according to 9 News Australia.
“Humpback whales are like jazz singers," said marine ecologist Professor Tracey Rogers. These whales have a very powerful singing noise. It was this song that was recorded underwater by a microphone designed to pick up nuclear tests. Rogers claims these whales change their songs quite often, making them difficult to be identified.
“Blue whales, on the other hand, are more traditional. They sing very structured, simple song,” he added.
The team believes this population of pygmy blue whales is based in the central Indian Ocean. They can grow to the size equivalent of two buses. Their unique, strong song can travel up to 500 kilometres. Their data shows recordings as far as Sri Lanka in the North and the Kimberley in Western Australia towards east.
However, the team is awaiting a visual confirmation. If and when that happens, this Chagos population would be the fifth population of pygmy blue whales to be discovered in the Indian Ocean. They have been named after an archipelago near where they were found. Rogers claims whaling and overhunting have pushed blue whale populations down a lot. This discovery is a big deal to them.
“Discovering this new population is the first step to protecting it,’ the team claims. It is also an opportunity to learn more about the animal’s behaviour.
Rogers said Blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere can be difficult to study. As they live offshore and don’t jump around. If it weren’t for these recordings, the world would never know this population even existed.