How to Speak Whale – Explorers Club, NYC

Did you know that you can visit the explorers club in New York City?

Yes, the explorers club is dedicated to scientific advances of the natural world and famous firsts, such as the first to the moon – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first to reach the north pole, etc.

The Explorers Club holds events, and I attended a talk on “How to Speak Whale” by Tom Mustill.  With guests who discussed whale anatomy, how artificial intelligence is impacting this research and current attempts to crack the code of what whales are actually saying.  


How to Speak Whale – the Event

In the Explorers Club this week with my eyes closed I had whale speech vibrating deep within my body like so many ocean waves.  Learning about how whale speech lines up with birds chirping when the whale audio was sped up was super interesting.  During one of the deepest whale vibrations that had me questioning if the whales actually were making noise or if they were just communicating through their feelings there was only one interruption.  The crashing of the audio equipment.  Yes, at the Explorers Club, the vibrations were so strong that the audio equipment fell off the table in a crash. 

It only interrupted the talk briefly but when opening my eyes I realized how lucky I felt to be in that room experiencing that event.

Explorers Club location: 46 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021

The talk continued to delve into how they obtained the sounds of the whales, how the sounds travel thousands of miles and how they are trying to use this knowledge to try to start a conversation with the whales.

The Explorers Club in NYC

But let me back up.  I arrived in the Explorers Club 50 minutes before the event.  On entering they confirmed my reservation – that I had paid the $30 event fee.  Then I proceeded to explore the explorers club.

The first floor was filled with leather furniture and wooden walls and had what looked like a set of Rhinoceros horns framing a fireplace with the curiosity as to whether or not that was fully legal.  Up stairs I was greeted by a stuffed Polar Bear in fighting position, which had me wondering how many decades ago that bear had actually died and whether it was a threat at all to the people who killed it.  Right next to it was a scientist who had a selection of whale bones to discuss with all passerbys. 

Before the event started, for free – alcohol was being served alongside cheeses and fruits with a few standing tables nearby.  Outside there were more and a much more lively crew of people to mingle with before we entered the great room where the whale talk would happen.

It is at times like these when I need to just step back and take in where I was standing and reflect on how lucky I am.

As an adventurer and not yet an explorer, I highly recommend a visit to this classic place.  I truly enjoyed being surrounded by people who were advancing knowledge and experiencing the various rooms that I was allowed to explore.