This Insane New Development In Echolocation Puts Us Closer To Talking To Dolphins

For decades, we’ve been trying to unlock the secrets of what may be the second most intelligent creature on the planet — dolphins. Structurally, in fact, dolphins have more complex brains than we do. So let that sink in.

Researchers recently made an unprecedented discovery in the realm of dolphin communication. Scientists from both the U.S. and the U.K. have worked together to create the first footage of a person being recorded by echolocation. In layman’s terms, we may now know exactly what dolphins see.

Dolphins rely on echolocation, which is a sense that locates objects by bouncing sounds off of them.

A dolphin named Amaya was told to direct her beams at a submerged diver. The echoes were captured by a hydrophone.

Then, a new machine called a CymaScope recorded and isolated the sounds to create a 2-D image of what the dolphin saw. Here’s what they generated.

Finally, a computer was used to 3-D print a version of it, allowing scientists to essentially see exactly what the experience of using echolocation is like.

But the most exciting work has just begun. Scientists hope to figure out a way to use these images to develop a language that dolphins can use to communicate with humans. We are one step closer to talking to dolphins!