Hello! Can anybody hear me? Is anybody out there—listening? Radio silence… Imagine, sending out a plea for connection, only to have your cry become lost in a sea of echoes. The “52 Hertz Whale,” also known as the “Lonely Whale” has for years wandered the ocean solo, living a life of solitude, completely cut off from bonding and connecting with other whales. Tragically, it is believed that this lonely whale sends out a frequency unlike any other whale; a unique call. To date, it is said that no other whale has responded to this lone whale’s cry.
Dr. William Watkins theorized that lonely whale “was either the first of its kind, the last of its kind, or a whale with a malformation in its call, resulting in its inability to mate or form a bond with any of his species.” At the heart of the matter, this gentle giant is a hero with a story to tell. Lonely Whale has spent an entire lifetime roaming through the abyss of the ocean, calling out deep from the depths, with a heart full of hope, waiting for a response—a connection. Still, Lonely Whale remains unanswered and unheard. This magnificent creature continues to wait for the day when the radio silence is shattered by a single response to his call.
Director Joshua Zeman has teamed up with Adrian Grenier (Executive Producer) and Lucy Cooper (Producer) to revive the thrill of embarking on an epic quest as they begin their search for the world’s loneliest whale. Together, along with their dedicated crew, they will venture on a journey of exploration and discovery to tell the story of the plight of this lonely whale in the documentary, 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale. The film will bring to the surface what this lonely whale can teach humanity. Loneliness is a universal experience and has engulfed the greater part of this gentle creature’s life. As the documentary seeks to share Lonely Whale’s story, it draws parallels to mankind’s: humanness, need for connection, having a unique voice, being different, feelings of isolation, and living in solitude. These themes are the embodiment of the message that Lonely Whale is sending us.
The story of Lonely Whale implores us to reflect on our lives. What if we were screaming at the top of our lungs, never to be heard? What if our voice was lost in a world of complete silence, no one responding to our call? Most importantly, what valuable messages are being lost in the shuffle and the muttering of all the white noise in our lives? 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale forces us to examine our own lives, specifically, “our own struggle to be heard above the endless chatter of virtual communication that is now forcing us to reconsider the quality of our plugged-in lives.” Perhaps, this is the heart of the matter: Lonely Whale inspires us to be a voice for the voiceless.
The documentary also aims to raise awareness and draw attention to one of the fastest growing threats to marine mammals, in particular whales—ocean noise. Ocean noise pollution is man-made and caused by “sonar blasts from military exercises, crashing seismic air guns from fuel exploration and the whine of commercial fleets crisscrossing the globe every minute of every day.” Ocean noise pollution can have devastating effects on whales and other marine mammals when the sound causes blood vessels of the marine mammals to burst. In response, marine mammals find themselves in a frenzy and state of panic urging them to race to the surface and eventually die. This is a particularly gruesome ramification of ocean noise pollution and could potentially be prevented. Another issue of concern is the constant high noise levels and damaging effects it has on marine mammals, such as interfering with their sonar capabilities. Marine mammals such as whales and dolphins rely on their sonar signals to locate prey for food. Additionally, their sonar signals allow them to communicate with their pods. Therefore, constant high noise levels are disrupting their ability to communicate and find food sources. In some cases, noise pollution results in marine mammals colliding with ships.).
There is an urgency and great need for a global response to ocean noise pollution. One way to combat ocean noise pollution is by establishing laws to ensure that sensitive habitats and protected marine areas are not exposed to ocean noise pollution. 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale acts as a catalyst for change, advocating on the behalf of whales and all marine mammals that are threatened by ocean noise pollution. Let’s lend our voice to raise awareness for Lonely Whale and all marine mammals in their fight against noise pollution. Together with 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale, Josh Zeman, Adrian Grenier, and Lucy Cooper, our voice will be heard.
I implore everyone to take part in this incredible movement and support this inspiring documentary. Click here to help raise funds on Kickstarter for this incredible project and click here to visit the film’s website.
—Echo Chic Cayman