It's well known that dolphins are among the world's smartest creatures, and humans are among the world's most annoying. The marine mammals, which use a complex pattern of squeaks and whistles to communicate with each other under water, are having trouble hearing themselves think because the nearby humans, with their noisy boats and shipping lanes, are making such a ruckus.


A study published in this week's edition of Biology Letters claims that, due to the increased noise of nearby ships, dolphins off the coast of Maryland were being forced to simplify their "speech" patterns to try and be understood over the sound of engines.

Marine biologist Helen Bailey of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science explained the phenomenon in very human terms:

"It's kind of like trying to answer a question in a noisy bar and after repeated attempts to be heard, you just give the shortest answer possible. Dolphins simplified their calls to counter the masking effects of vessel noise."

Leila Fouda, Bailey's assistant, agreed:

"The simplification of these whistles could reduce the information in these acoustic signals and make it more difficult for dolphins to communicate."

This is not the first study to conclude passing ships were the wildlife equivalent of walking through a stranger's home screaming "Sweet Child O' Mine" at the top of your lungs. A study conducted by Japanese scientists off the coast of the Ogasawara Islands found that humpback whales significantly shortened their songs when boats were passing by. And a 2016 study on orcas concluded that engine noise "hindered their communication abilities."

Twitter wants to find a solution to this problem ASAP:



Even on the ocean's floor, where Bailey and Fouda planted their microphones, the majority of sound recorded was produced by passing humans.

While noise may not be as pressing a threat as climate change, Bailey believes people who design boats need to take it into account.

Bailey said:

"We need to be working to engineer quieter boats."


H/T - Huffpost, Biology Letters

Christmas is upon us. It's time to get those Christmas present lists together.

So... who has been naughty and who has been nice?

Who is getting diamonds and who is getting coal? Yuck, coal. Is that even a thing anymore? Who even started that idea?

There has to be some funnier or more "for the times" type of "you've been naughty" stocking stuffer.

I feel like the statement coal used to make is kind of last century at this point.

Apparently I'm not alone in this thinking.

Keep reading... Show less

I admit, I love my stuffed animals. They're the best.

Some of them have been with me for years and I have them proudly displayed in different spots around my apartment. And when I've packed them for a move, I've done so with all the tender loving care I can muster.

What is it about them that stirs up these feelings?

Believe it or not, it's quite possible to form emotional attachments to inanimate objects!

Keep reading... Show less
Nik Shulaihin/Unsplash

They say your 30's hits different, like one day you're young a hopeful and the next day you're just WAY too old for this.

What is the "this" you're suddenly too old for?

No idea. It's different for everyone, but make no mistake, it'll happen to you too.

Maybe it already has?

Giphy

Keep reading... Show less

Do all mothers go to the say mom school or something? Because they seem to share the same advice or go on the same platitudes, don't they?

Here's an idea.

Maybe they're just older, have more experience, and are trying to keep us from being dumbasses in public. At least, that's what I think.

I'm definitely grateful for my mother's advice—it's saved me more than once—and it seems many out there are too. And they all seem to have heard the same things from their mothers, too.

Keep reading... Show less