Whether we are hopping into our cars, going for a run, working on our computers, sitting around the house, or simply cooking, we all tend to turn on our favorite music and soak in the notes. All of us have a favorite band that we firmly believe exemplifies all we are about. When our favorite songs are played, we can’t help but tap our feet to the beat. Because of our appreciation of music we may think we are enlightened and exceptionally intelligent, but it seems Homo sapiens aren’t the only mammals who like to groove…
I read this article today, talking about a researcher, Dr. Paul Spong, and his orca friend Hyak. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s Spong would lug large underwater speakers into Hyak’s tank, play music for him, and see his reaction, and he DID react. Hyak got to sample everything from Mozart to Ravi Shankar to The Moody Blues.
Working with whales in the Vancouver Aquarium, Spong soon discovered playing the same old shitty music over and over again not only annoys us naked apes, but also orcas. If Spong dared play a song Hyak had heard before, he would sulk in the corner of his tank and wouldn’t move until Spong put on some new grooves.
While all of this is interesting, the day Hyak heard the Rolling Stones for the first time was something else. When the LP of “Jumping Jack Flash” begun to play, Hyak swam at Spong, leaped out of the water, spun in circles, splashed, barrel rolled, slapped his fins, and kept on grooving. This reaction was unique and was one that he brought out only for the Stones.
I would say the morale to this story is: everyone digs the Rolling Stones, even whales! So give Hyak’s favorite song a listen and see if you feel the urge jump with Jack, or at least bob your head.