We humans get to share the planet with all different sizes and types of creatures. And whales may be the most awe-inspiring of all those creatures. Whales are mammals, like humans, who live in every ocean but they do not live “under water.” Whales spend about 90% of their time under water but have to surface to breathe. And they breathe through what are called blowholes. These are openings usually found on top of a whale’s head that close when the whale is under water. When a whale surfaces, it spouts by blowing out stale air and excess water through its blowhole and then inhales fresh air back into its lungs through its blowhole. A whale’s respiratory system is incredibly efficient letting them stay submerged for upwards of an hour or longer for some species. Whales may be as small as about 11 feet long while a Blue Whale may be 100 feet long and weigh nearly 200 tons. And a whale’s life span mimics the human life span. Humpback whales have an average life span of 77 years while a Bowhead Whale may live to be 100 years old. And in case you’re wondering, whales can’t sleep. The reason is whales are “conscious breathers,” which means they have to think about breathing unlike humans where breathing is not something we have to think about. Humans are unconscious breathers. This probably makes you wonder whether whales sleep if they can’t be unconscious in order to keep breathing. Well, the answer is whales rest but they don’t sleep. And they rest by letting one half of their brain go to sleep at a time and then reversing the process for the other half of their brain. But what is most interesting about whales is they’re just as social as any two-legged human. Whales communicate with an array of sounds and noises that rival anything humans can speak. And the communication between whales is initiated and responded to just like human speech. It varies in tone and style depending possibly on the whale’s mood or its circumstances. This last point leads us to our story. If whales are just as social as humans, could that also mean that there could be an occasional non-social whale just like there are humans who are loners? Do you think that’s a stretch? Do you think that’s attributing too much human-like behavior to something that might be nothing more than a big fish? Well, maybe you should listen carefully to what you’re going to hear next.