Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This dang seal is singing the Star Wars theme

Folks, let’s get right to it. What you’ve got here in the video above is a seal singing the Star Wars theme. Click on the video, and oh hell yeah you’re gonna hear a seal belting out John Williams’ classic space fantasy score.

This compilation of seals repeating back sounds comes from Scotland’s University of St. Andrews. Researchers there have been experimenting teaching grey seals to mimic human sounds, because some scientists get stuck doing, y’know, math, while other scientists get to teach big blubbery sea dogs to sing the hits.


According to CNN, researchers Amanda Stansbury and Vincent Janik say one seal in particular, Zola, was the most talented at mimicking back sounds, capable of repeating up to 10 notes in songs like the Star Wars theme and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Seals, evidentially, like songs about stars.

The purpose of the study is to help understand the evolution of language development and vocal learning, although we would argue that getting seals to do this Close Encounters of the Third Kind routine is a pretty good end result all on its own.

“Finding other mammals that use their vocal tract in the same way as us to modify sounds informs us on how vocal skills are influenced by genetics and learning and can ultimately help to develop new methods to study speech disorders,” Janik told CNN.

No word yet on if this seal can do any other movie themes, or if it will take requests. Seeing as how John Williams has said the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker will be his last, we expect its flippers to fill his shoes.


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About the author

Gabe Worgaftik

Contributor, The A.V. Club.