I just read a comment from a 2004 article by the NY Times about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem:
She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one.
Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25Hz, she sings at 51.75Hz.
You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored. And with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by.
Against that time (if ever that time come) When I shall see thee frown on my defects, When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum, Called to that audit by advised respects— Against that time when thou shalt strangely pass, And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye, When love, converted from the thing it was, Shall reasons find of settled gravity— Against that time do I ensconce me here Within the knowledge of mine own desert, And this my hand against myself uprear, To guard the lawful reasons on thy part. To leave poor me thou has the strength of laws, Since why to love I can allege no cause. (1609)
Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow. I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain. I am in the morning hush, I am in the graceful rush Of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am the starshine of the night. I am in the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing. Do not stand at my grave bereft I am not there. I have not left. -Mary Elizabeth Frye