Daily Mail

Kim Kardashian sounds like a whale (in a manner of speaking)

- By Xantha Leatham Deputy Science Editor in Washington

THEY might not be flattered by the comparison but Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Scarlett Johansson can sound a little like whales when they speak.

At least that’s the finding of scientists in Denmark who say that marine mammals such as the sperm whale, killer whale, oceanic dolphins and porpoises have evolved an air-driven nasal sound with distinct similariti­es to a certain type of American drawl. This is called vocal fry – characteri­sed by dragging out certain syllables during a sentence and by a deep, creaky, breathy sound. The animals use vocal fry to find prey through echo- location. The scientists found that, like humans, the marine mammals have at least three vocal registers – vocal fry, also known as creaky voice, which produces the lowest tones, the chest register, which is similar to our normal speaking voice, and the falsetto register which produces higher frequencie­s.

Professor Coen Elemans, voice scientist at the University of Southern Denmark, said: ‘Vocal fry is a normal voice register often used in American English. Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Scarlett Johansson are wellknown people using this register.’

The findings, published in the journal Science, were presented at the annual conference of the American Associatio­n for the Advancemen­t of Science in Washington.

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