U.S. marine biologists in San Diego, California recorded the utterances of a whale, did an acoustic analysis and were surprised to find a rhythm similar to that of human speech, according to the National Marine Mammal Foundation in the journal Current Biology.
Whales make sounds through their nasal tract, unlike people, who use their larynx, so the whale apparently learned to use his throat to speak, reports AFP.
Sam Ridgway of the National Marine Mammal Foundation said in a statement: "Such obvious effort suggests motivation for contact. The sounds we heard were clearly an example of vocal learning by the white whale."
Unfortunately, the whale, named NOC, died five years ago.
Ridgway says that in 1984, he and others started hearing sounds near the whale and dolphin enclosure that recalled two people speaking in the distance.
The whale made human-like sounds for around four years until it reached the age of sexual maturity.