Beluga Whales Can Mimic Human Speech, Have Told Divers To Surface

Parents accompany children to watch beluga performance in China. (Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

One of the most recognizable members of the whale family, the beluga is distinguishable by its white color, bulbous head, and perpetual smile, but there is much more to these remarkable creatures than their outward appearance. The beluga whale has some amazing abilities, including the capacity for altruism and even mimicking human speech.

A Cold Water Whale

Beluga whales are cold water inhabitants who make their home in the frigid depths of the Arctic. They're most commonly seen in the waters off Alaska, Greenland, Canada, and northern Russia; in fact, the word "beluga" is Russian for "white." They're a close cousin of the narwhal, another cold water, meme-able whale.