Dolphins love Radiohead, and science can prove why

Dolphins are smart little buggers. They call each other by name, can play ball games, and know that sex can be for fun (remember everyone, wrap it before you tap it). Snorky and pals have a lot more in common with us humans than we think, but did you know that they froth for Radiohead?

Such is the case for the dolphins at the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (try saying that three times fast) at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Willow Wilthy, a yoga instructor at the habitat who hosts a ‘Yoga with the Dolphins’ class, because that’s a thing, says that the dolphins respond ecstatically when she plays Radiohead during her classes. “Our dolphins seem to really resonate with Radiohead music, and especially the song Lotus Flower” she says.

Dolphins love Radiohead

As soon as I put it on, they come up to the window and their play patterns become more fluid, friendly, and they are curious about what is going on in the yoga room. They rub against the windows, walls, and express more sensory connection. It feels like mutually shared experience as they appreciate the yoga and music together. I would say they are happy.

Wilthy experimented with different music from Sigur Ros, Earth Rise Sound System, Andrew Bird, Inspired Flight, the Beatles, and Pink Floyd to see if they would inspire the same reaction from the dolphins. The only other artist who did so was Anoushka Shankar, whose sitar music resulted in the same reaction, the  the Beatles and Pink Floyd coming close.

WIlthy has said that since then that the dolphins have become active participants in her yoga class, which is important because fitness is key to a long life after all. “When I first come in, I often do headstands,” she says. “They swim down and wait at the window like happy puppies and wait for me to do a headstand. They often mimic my moves and go upside down like they are joining in. It is a very moving experience and I feel I have bonded with them.

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So what is it that makes dolphins like Radiohead and the like so much? Do they agree that Ok Computer is one of the definitive albums of the 90s? Or are they just a massive fan of Thom Yorke’s elastic dancing? According to Tori Cullins of the Wild Dolphin Foundation their behaviour is rooted in science, as a sceintist is most likely to day. Duh.

Different types of music have different effects,” she says. “The percussive tunes seem to provoke the most interesting responses. It is a tell-tale sign that when they look into the windows, that the sounds are changing their behavior“.

It is common knowledge among our community that they like new-agey music like Enya. Rock music seems to stress them and jazz is the worst, while classical and country music has seen them relaxed. Human beings react in many ways to music, so it is logical that certain music can trigger different reactions.

First seen on Consequence of Sound.