What happened when we first learned about whale songs?

It might be hard to believe, but only a few people in the world had ever heard a humpback whale song before 1970, the year Roger Payne and Scott McVay released recordings made over the previous decade by the US Navy to the general public on the record Songs of the Humpback Whale, which went on to become a platinum album and sell more copies than any nature sound recording ever made. In 1979 a sound page of whale songs was included in ever copy of National Geographic Magazine sold around the world. At ten million copies in many languages, this remains the greatest single pressing of any record ever.

Listen to humpback whales in Maui:

Perhaps no one would have cared enough to work to save the whales without first hearing their song.