Monday, April 18, 2005

"How 'bout them Boing Fish?"

Yet another sea animal post courtesy of an anonymous comment to my milamore story “How 'bout them Boing Fish?” .

It first I thought I was going to get hooked into another fish story joke or someone thought my sea story was Boring and couldn't type. I did a quick Google and found the Dwarf Minke Whale who makes the cool Star Wars sound and is sometimes called the boing fish, check out the sound it makes here or here.

Dwarf Minke Whale (Photo: Queensland AU gov website)

If your interested in some more Dwarf Minke Whale Photos go here.

The origin of this boing fish sound was a mystery for 50 years until recently. Now I have a new mystery, did the anonymous comment from Sonarmen!

6 comments:

WillyShake said...

Ah, this was so great to come by and find! I just started re-reading Melville's Moby Dick (and hope to do some blogging about that soon)...now you've gone and fired my imagination to an even greater level. Thanks!

Chap said...

Wonderful! I had a little correspondence with the guys who did the first minke whale study, one of whom worked at the University of Hawaii. They also knew about boingfish but never got the info from submariners unless you got a researcher who also rode boats. As of about 1999, they knew one kind of boing (the minke) but didn't know the other...

Mars said...

That minke whale sound is NOT a boing fish. I was a submarine sonarman in the Pacific for a quarter century and I can tell you that aint it. A boing fish makes more of a door buzzer noise than that springy noise the minke makes. Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mars. The "boing fish" sounds like someone saying wow-oooeee through an electric guitar amp. Kind of like Peter Frampton in "Do you feel like I do." It is an amazingly distinct sound. Nothing like a Minke. (heard those in person)

Neptune said...

I agree with those Mars. I did two western Pacific deployments between 2003 and 2007 aboard a fast attack US Navy submarine. I was even sonar supervisor on the last deployment, sitting for hours on end listening to "boingfish" This dwarf Minke whale sound is definitely NOT the boingfish I know. I can only describe the sound I heard back then as a medium, stable frequency which begins abruptly with full amplitude and then fades slowly over about 5 seconds or so, the whole time remaining modulated around 10-20 beats per second yet stable in base frequency (around 2-4khz perhaps? As a guess?.

Neptune said...

.... also, the instances of this sound were individual. By this, I mean that you would hear this sound coming from a certain bearing or direction, then the next sound would be from a totally different direction. The sounds were almost never heard in clusters or groups (location or time wise). For lack of better explanation I would say that the sounds were randomly spread throughout the central and western Pacific. When you heard one boingfish, there was definitely more around, like we would pass through regions highly populated with boingfish, and then there areas with none.