5 Animals That Can Totally Talk

    December 27, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Who needs cartoons when there are 5 animals that can totally talk (that aren’t parrots) right here in real life. Here are some unlikely animals with humanoid communication skills that will make you rethink calling the Earth guy from Captain Planet a pussy.

    Beluga Whales

    The above clip is not a recording of a deaf guy getting punched in the balls, but actually a beluga whale attempting to imitate human speech. The first of our series of animals that can totally talk. The National Marine Mammal Foundation released this clip, from 1985, of a beluga whale named Noc trying to say ‘out’, or something like that. To me it sounds like “Doodurrrdurrdurrr,” but I’m no scientist.

    Beluga whales learn to communicate among themselves via imitation, so it’s not all that surprising that one in captivity would attempt to learn how to speak to humans by impersonating them. This is especially common among whales that are in captivity from a young age and never learn how to properly communicate among their own kind. Seals also do this.



    Listen as Hoover the talking seal tries to scam you of of money at the carnival. Come on, just one game. Get the ball into the basket and win a fish. It’s easy; he promises. But the seal might be smarter than you, because he is an animal that can talk.

    Hoover the harbor seal was a little orphan pup when he was picked up by a fisherman in Maine, who raised him until he was transferred to the New England Aquarium in Boston as he grew too large to live in some guy’s house. It was there that Hoover began making “speechlike” sounds. Aquarium files from 1978, when Hoover was seven years old, note that Hoover could say “‘Hoover’ in plain English. I have witnesses.”

    More recordings of Hoover can be found here, where the animal can clearly be heard talking by saying “Hey hey hey” and “Come over here.”



    Ruby is one of many crows that can speak English better than my own grandmother. Crows are incredibly intelligent animals that can talk. They can recognize and remember human faces, speak in their own detailed crow-language which branches off into different dialects, have incredible memories, can use a number of varied tools to solve complex problems in multiple steps, and are very adaptive creatures — especially when it comes to language.

    Crows are great at mimicking human speech and actually have a larger vocabulary than many parrots.



    Ravens, not to be confused with crows, are even better at learning how to be animals that can talk. Ravens naturally make a lot of weird, creepy sounds such as clicking and what sounds like growling. Talking ravens often sound like a pedophile trying to get you into his fake ice cream truck, and, like that guy, are great opportunists. They will eat anything from meat to berries to insects to plain old garbage, and have a vocal range just as diverse — ravens can make more than 30 different vocalizations to suit a number of needs (alarm calls, flight noises, defense calls, etc). Like crows, they also speak in “dialects” according to their location in the world.


    Killer Whales

    Check out this orca whale, named Luna, attempting to communicate with humans by imitating the noises made by theĀ boat’s motor. Unfortunately, Luna’s friendly antics eventually lead to her death when she was trapped beneath a motor and sliced to tiny little pieces in 2006, sparking debates over how close boats should be allowed to get to whales. Whales are probably the biggest of all the animals that can talk, so they get the last word.

    Luna is the center of a documentary calledĀ The Whale, which delves into the idea that whales may likely experience many emotions that humans do and can possibly even develop ‘friendships’ with them. Although Luna (and other orcas) aren’t going to hit you with a “Dude, what’s up?”, imitating the sounds of the boat motor with such incredibly accuracy surely indicates the animal’s desire to communicate using a “human” language.



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