After a video clip of the event went viral, Tom found himself inundated with theories about what happened. He became obsessed with trying to find out what the whale had been thinking and sometimes wished he could just ask it. In the process of making a film about his experience, he discovered that might not be such a crazy idea.
This is a story about the pioneers in a new age of discovery, whose cutting-edge developments in natural science and technology are taking us to the brink of decoding animal communication - and whales, with their giant mammalian brains and sophisticated vocalisations, offer one of the most realistic opportunities for us to do so.
Using 'underwater ears,' robotic fish, big data and machine intelligence, leading scientists and tech-entrepreneurs across the world are working to turn the fantasy of Dr Dolittle into a reality, upending much of what we know about these mysterious creatures.
But what would it mean if we were to make contact? And with climate change threatening ever more species with extinction, would doing so alter our approach to the natural world?
Enormously original and hugely entertaining, How to Speak Whale is an unforgettable look at how close we truly are to communicating with another species - and how doing so might change our world beyond recognition.
"We all wish we could communicate with animals right? It might simply be with a companion animal, a domesticated animal or it might be with something wild, a whale even. Some of us will believe that we already communicate with animals in all sorts of ways but to have a proper conversation with an animal, find out what it thinks of the impact that humans are making on the planet, the natural world, well that is just a dream, surely? Tom’s book, How to Speak Whale, may have been prompted by a very close call with a breaching humpback whale, but the journey it set him off on is fascinating as he brilliantly navigates all of the current science on animal communication, showcasing whale song and what it could all mean … The prescient question might be whether or not we have the capacity to comprehend it. Tom’s enthusiasm for the subject along with his warm delivery makes for a very charming but also important book. I can't recommend it enough." Jason Peters
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