Minke Whale Up Close

Minke Close up with vocalisations recorded by Jason Gedamke, PhD


Dwarf minke whales make the most incredible sound. The first time people hear them, in an encounter, people can barely believe it’s the whales that are making the peculiar noises they hear. It’s often referred to as the “Star Wars” sound, as it’s sounds like it’s being produced mechanically or synthetically. 
The noises are so strange that before studies were done, it was thought Australian naval submarines might be making these strange sounds. 
But really questions have to be asked why they make these crazy sounds? Is it the males or females, who are making these sounds? There is so much we don’t know. It just makes this species of whale so special and fascinating.

Dwarf minke whales are the smallest of the three species of minke whale and have very different markings to the Antarctic and Common minkes. They reach a maximum length of 7m’s and are found only in the Southern Hemisphere, where they spend summer in Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic waters and migrate North in the winter months. Although found off the coasts of South America and Africa, the largest known numbers forms an aggregation inside the protection of The Ribbon Reefs of The Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Here they seek out snorkelers and divers and are known to engage with humans for many hours at a time. Several individual whales have been known to return, year after year. One Whale has now spent 11 out of 12 seasons straight with us. Special thanks to Jason Gedamke, for the sound recording. 

Filmed on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

ClientPersonal ProjectLocationGreat Barrier Reef, AustraliaYear2019

Privacy Preference Center