Humpback whales love a good hit single, and every year a new catchy pop tune spreads among the male underwater crooners, said an Australian study released on April 14.
The males are the only ones who sing, likely in the hopes of making some lady whale swoon, according to the research published in the US journal Current Biology.
If there is a whale version of the King of Pop, he likely resides off the coast of eastern Australia, because that is where the popular tune of the season has always originated for the past decade, researchers said.
The hit-making tune then ripples eastward across the South Pacific Ocean, from Australia to French Polynesia, infecting genetically distinct groups of whales who all start singing the same song during breeding season.
In typical pop music fashion, the tunes are not all that original most of the time, said researcher Ellen Garland, a graduate student at The University of Queensland.
“It would be like splicing an old Beatles song with U2,” Garland said. “Occasionally they completely throw the current song out the window and start singing a brand new song.”
The 11-year study described itself as the “first documentation of a repeated, dynamic cultural change occurring across multiple populations at such a large geographic scale.”
What remains a mystery is why the whales all sing the same song, when presumably their efforts are meant to make them stand out from the pack.
“We think this male quest for song novelty is in the hope of being that little bit different and perhaps more attractive to the opposite sex,” said Garland.
“This is then countered by the urge to sing the same tune, by the need to conform.”
1. catchy adj.
好聽易記的 (hao3 ting1 yi4 ji4 de5)
例: That’s a catchy tune. Whenever I hear it, I just can’t help but sing along, and it gets stuck in my head for hours.
2. ripple v.
擴散 (kuo4 san4)
例: The singer’s popularity quickly rippled across the globe as his latest hit song spread to more and more countries.
3. quest n.
追求 (zhui1 qiu2)
例: Their team is on a quest to win the cheerleading world championships next year.
The Western Section of the Taipei Metro’s Circular Line (the Yellow Line) in New Taipei City has been in operation since Jan. 31. On Sept. 6, someone riding in a Metro train car saw the quite moving scene of an elderly workman sitting on a paint pail that he had with him because he was afraid of dirtying the seats. Some netizens were moved to tears by the story. The person posted a photo on the “Baofei Commune” Facebook group. He said that when he was on the Circular Line in New Taipei City, he had come across an elderly workman
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (2/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（二） A: How about we organize a road trip to test out my new set of wheels? B: Alright. Any thoughts on where to go? A: I’m thinking of driving along the east coast and staying in Taitung for a long weekend. What do you think? B: That’s a great idea — but does your vintage car have air conditioning? A: I’m afraid not, but at least the weather is starting to cool down now. How about this Saturday? B: Sure. Let’s do it! A: 我們來規劃一趟公路旅行，試試我的新車，你覺得如何？ B: 好啊。你有想到去哪裡嗎？ A: 我打算沿著東海岸開，然後週末連假待在台東。你覺得呢？ B: 那真是太棒了──不過，你的經典車有空調嗎？ A: 恐怕沒有哦，反正天氣開始變涼了。星期六出發怎麼樣？ B: 當然。就這麼做吧！ （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
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