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Science Shows Dolphins Communicate Holographically

By Edwina Shaw on Wednesday December 21st, 2016

Can We Start Speaking To Dolphins?

Scientists are now able to begin deciphering how dolphins convey information to each other and to then use this information to start a conversation.

Recently scientists have made a significant breakthrough in inter-species communication. Researchers in the UK and USA have proved that the clicking sounds dolphins use for echolocation actually form reproducible holographic pictures that the researchers suggest may be the basis of dolphin language.

With the use of cutting edge technology such as the CymaScope and 3D print technology, the scientists at SpeakDolphin believe they have been able to see what dolphins see for the first time. This amazing discovery has exciting implications for the future, as the first step in being able to potentially communicate with dolphins in their own language.

Alt text hereDolphins communicate holograms and now we can see them.

Dolphin Communication

Dolphins communicate in a wide variety of ways, just as we do. They use body language, using touch to communicate both affection and aggression. They have even been known to hold flippers, just as we hold hands. Dolphins don’t have vocal cords, but instead have a complex system, including a balloon-like structure in their foreheads called a melon.

They have even been known to hold flippers, just as we hold hands.

They have two sets of lips near the blowhole that force air through, much as air is squeezed through the nozzle of a balloon, to create sounds. This air is recycled through the system so the dolphin can remain underwater for extended periods while echolocating or communicating. Through these lips, dolphins can both whistle and make clicking sounds or click bursts, sometimes at extremely high speed.

Alt text hereDolphins hold hands to communicate affection just like humans do.

Deciphering The Dolphin Code

Early on in dolphin research, scientists discovered that each dolphin has an individual whistle that they use to identify themselves, and that other dolphins use to call them in return. When a dolphin is in trouble it sends out a series of these whistling sounds, as if calling for help from friends. The clicking sounds were discovered to be a form of echolocation, using sound to create mental images of the surroundings, which dolphins can use with extreme accuracy, focusing in on one fish in a swarming school, to track elusive prey.

Some scientists also believed that dolphins could use their clicks to transmit information to other dolphins in their vicinity. Click bursts, or high speed clusters of clicks, are thought to have additional meanings, beyond simply identifying objects. Dolphin researchers suggested that these click bursts are a form of communication that dolphins use when they’re playing or to indicate aggression. Mother dolphins have been observed to focus an angry click burst at a misbehaving calf, for example.

Findings like these have spurred great interest in how dolphins communicate and raised questions about their cognitive abilities. At first, scientists and animal trainers were only interested in what they could teach dolphins. These days there is interest in what they can teach us. Especially since this latest breakthrough, which begins to prove that the suppositions of these early researchers may be correct.

Alt text hereScientists have cracked the code to how dolphins see the world around them.

An Innate Intelligence

The pioneer of dolphin research, John Lilly, was a neurophysiologist at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. In the 1950s, he was the first to suggest that dolphins had a language of their own. His books, Man and Dolphin: Adventures on a New Scientific Frontier and The Mind of the Dolphin: A Nonhuman Intelligence, brought people to an awareness of the sophisticated intelligence that dolphins possess.

Lilly opened a dolphin research facility and attempted to teach a dolphin named Peter to speak English with some success. However, in the 60’s Lilly’s experiments grew more and more controversial—including injecting dolphins with LSD—so his funding dried up and the study of dolphin communication fell into disrepute.

Then in 1970, a University of Hawaii psychologist named Louis Herman reignited scientific interest and began experiments of his own, teaching dolphins language and raising them as children. Yet, despite almost half a century of study since these pioneering efforts, nobody has been able to prove definitively what the fundamental units of dolphin vocalization are, or how those units get assembled. This is what makes the recent findings about the holographic mental images created by echolocation such an exciting breakthrough.

Alt text hereMother dolphins teach their calves through a range of communication methods.

Starting A Conversation

Until recently, there has been no evidence that a dolphin has been able to transmit anything like an image to other dolphins through echolocation. However, earlier this year, researchers in the USA and UK made this significant finding when they used a new piece of technology, a CymaScope, to translate a dolphin’s clicking sounds into a holographic image of the submerged man she was echolocating. Team leader, Jack Kassewitz of SpeakDolphin.com, is delighted with the result.

This is the first time we have captured a what-the-dolphin-saw image of a man.

Previously they’d used other objects such as crosses and flower pots and were to some degree successful, but this image of a man has made it clear that a dolphin’s clicks translate as a mental image that humans can now also decipher. This has tremendous implications for people to now begin learning how to communicate with dolphins.

Just as in the recent sci-fi movie Arrival, where a linguist struggled to decode the multidimensional images aliens were communicating, scientists are now able to begin deciphering how dolphins convey information to each other and to then use this information to start a conversation.

Alt text hereHolograms will enable humans to communicate with dolphins more effectively.

The Holographic Experiment

For the ground-breaking experiment, a man wearing a weight belt was submerged underwater and a trained dolphin then used a series of clicks to identify the man through echolocation. The dolphin’s echo signal was recorded using high specification audio equipment and the recording was then sent to the CymaScope laboratory in the UK.

There, acoustic physics researcher John Stuart Reid, used the CymaScope to transcribe the sound sample by imprinting it onto a water membrane by using the quasiholographic properties of sound and its relationship with water. The holographic image that emerged was the mirror image of the submerged man complete with details such as the weight belt.

This demonstrated that the CymaScope can capture what-the-dolphin-saw images and suggested that dolphins can also see surface features, such as the weight belt. Kassewitz, Reid and their team are now speculating that dolphins may employ a “sono-pictorial” form of language, a language of pictures that they share with each other. As Kassewitz explains:

If that proves to be true an exciting future lies ahead for inter species communications.

Alt text hereThe holographic experiment that shows what a dolphins sees.

How Dolphins Speak to Each Other

It can be speculated that dolphins use auditory information to perceive the world similarly to how humans use vision. Though perhaps they would have an even greater degree of perception as the auditory centres of their brains are highly developed, with auditory nerves containing as many fibres as human optic nerves.

What the scientists have found most exciting is the probability that these sound images are shared with other dolphins as part of their communication.

It’s likely that dolphins integrate information from all their senses to create a complete and complex interpretation of their surroundings. What the scientists have found most exciting is the probability that these sound images are shared with other dolphins as part of their communication.

Alt text hereResearch reveals how dolphins see with sound and communicate with one another.

Sending Visual Images

Some humans who are blind are also able to use echolocation to identify their surroundings. They make their way safely through an unfamiliar environment by using clicking sounds and listening for the reflected echoes from the objects they encounter. Studies conducted on these people show that their visual cortex is also activated as they echolocate through an environment, demonstrating that brain areas usually reserved for vision can be activated by other sensory modes.

Because of the similarity between human and dolphin brains, this suggests that dolphins may also be creating visual images through echolocation, which they then communicate to other dolphins.

The success of the experiment translating echolocation clicks into a holographic image of a man makes this speculation a reality. This is what has excited scientists and dolphin lovers alike, as humans take one step closer to being able to communicate with our playful friends in the sea.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Words By Edwina Shaw

Writer and teacher of workshops combining writing and yoga

 

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10 Responses to Science Shows Dolphins Communicate Holographically

  1. “Can we start speaking to dolphins?” might gently be replaced with “How do we learn to listen to dolphins?” Certainly there is much they have to offer to us. After opening to this, and listening with open hearts and minds, let’s re-evaluate anything we might have considered speaking to them.

  2. I also had a wonderful experience with a dolphin in a dream. I knew I had to get up a rocky cliff for some important reason. I couldn’t figure it out. And then a beautiful violet colored dolphin appeared. There was a mind connection, and I knew the solution was at hand. Suddenly I was transported to the top on a beam of energy, landing in an antique shop. There I met a beautiful child and realized it was me. She gave me a blue crocheted item (spiritual). We then got into an elevator together and departed. Some years later, in Mexico. I mentally called out to the dolphin, and about twelve immediately showed up and put on quite a show! Thank you!

  3. “Mother dolphins have been observed to focus an angry click burst at a misbehaving calf”
    this interpretation is but one of human state not of true aware. Dolphins do not use our emotions as you may assume. They are less emotional and more direct of action. If you child jumps into the road as a car speeding in her direction is what would you do in that action of preserving her ? See who interpretation may be used to gain little insight? A mother dolphin is not angry in clicking but is affording the child insight not an emotional attitude.

    “These days there is interest in what they can teach us.”
    We will NEVER learn what they may teach us in science and the labs they are in but we will learn in the Spirit what they are to us in this life and living that we share in this Earth Mother Geia. In this I do not speak this to be of criticism but insight.

    “This has tremendous implications for people to now begin learning how to communicate with dolphins.
    We do not require this science or this kind of captivity and study to learn to communicate with dolphins. I have been communicating with them since i was first in the water with them. If you seek this kind of intellect then you do not advance but only look at what you can use to interpret not what is the communication that they offer. I speak the Truth. I AM.

    “John Lilly” was NOT a great state of person as his only interest was to take from them what he could. He sought to use them in a facility to gain insight to himself not gain from them love or to them love. Many will not believe me but this is the Truth. He set out to move them to his will not to learn of their insight to humanity. He learned early on that they could telepathically use us and this was then the determination for him to learn and to gain from them not with them that gain. In the use of most malice drugs in their body they were moved to terrible instincts that were not their own. They are most beautiful beings and they have no necessity for drugs or any kind of immune enhancement but they are not to be gained in this time to us in captivity longer. They will choose to leave. In this they who have these in labs and study or in facilities to work with humans or to entertain will see that they will not remain in this kind of tank operation. They are aware in this now and they know that they may release this life and return to their own. In this the Lord is not willing to tell you more here that you do not do this people justice to encourage more study in captivity but I will. I say this to say that these you study talk to me. They do not seek to know this kind if facilitation and do not seek to be where they are not loved. You think that captivity is good but it is not. In those that swim in the wild this is good and encourage. Do not feel that I criticize you who wrote this begin that this is a good article but that this is the Truth that in this article is not gained as such. I know the dolphins and they are my family. I know the Whales and they are they who in the Wisdom keeping were my teachers and my provision of this time as they who are good to us even when we were not then and are not now a gain to them in that sonaring of oceans a gain of love and peace. I do know and I do state the Truth and the Truth is with me. I AM.

    • Deep. Full. Moving. Wise. We’ll take a lot of these things on board. We are so grateful for your impassioned engagement. Thank you Team Uplift

      • Ewalina, I always defer to cetaceans. If they wish to approach me,they do. They amazed me many times by showing up when I “called” them, in the wild, not in captivity. Total respect and highest karma to them, you, and all…

  4. A dolphin dream also changed my life. I believe they can ‘read’ our thoughts–or at least some can. I had proof of sorts at one time. Many mystical experiences involving dolphins took place in my life in the span of a year. Have often wished to have another dolphin dream. That one was 40 years ago…nothing yet.

  5. This is very exciting and bringing me back to the dolphin connection. Finally.
    I had a dream in which i woke up from a dream, entering the water in order to see something unfamiliar. The only way to really see it was to ‘look’ closely through the dolphins ‘eyes’ which opened up to another dimension with more ‘eyes’ to look through until unlimited …
    I woke up from this dream and know that this was not ‘just a dream’ but a moment in time to come in the future where one dolphin would change my life. I was told to believe the dream and so i did. Many years later the person who told me to believe in the dream and who i intuitively know to be the person, who would take me to the dolphin, created the connection and introduced me to a person, a filmmaker, who then wanted to make a film about me and a solitary dolphin in Belize. I was not prepared that this anticipated moment was going to be a public one for anyone to see, with a Hollywood actor called Kiefer Sutherland to narrate my story. As you can imagine I was now literally living my dream. Except that the dream did not turn out the way I thought it would. I did meet the solitary dolphin in the wild, I did create an amazing bond with the dolphin and until then I thought everything was amazing and unreal. And exactly, it was unreal. Because suddenly i woke up from my dream when the same dolphin turned and slapped her fluke into my stomach. And suddenly everything became real. A real that I had not known before but unsheltered from everything all of the sudden occurring at once. No belief could have been as strong as to create a firewall between me and the dolphin. I for the first time ‘saw’ her. No projections anymore. This was only the beginning of what was going to become the rest of my life.
    The next day I took a leap of faith and entered the watery space once more only to be greeted by some more unusual ‘unsafe’ behavior from the dolphin. It was a choice to be made between going back into fear and the know or leap forward to the unknown. Which I did. Not that I had a choice really I think. Going mad was not the option for me.
    In the following years, i traveled the globe meeting many people who study dolphins, including Lou Herman, who is mentioned in this article. A scientist who studies language with dolphins. I also on the same island visited the center, where they use dolphins as war weapons.

    After 7 years I turned my attention to the whales and after that to water itself.
    I wonder if i was sent the images from the dolphin into my dream. After all, i am the kind of person who when dancing the tango or salsa is closing her
    eyes and doing the clicking sound. I do this way know when I am approaching the wall or other people. I also use this when I am in the ocean and when doing laps in the pool. Exciting time ahead. Thank you for sharing this. …. And of course, I knew all along that I am communicating with the dolphin, always have and always will be.

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