Flipper was a tv show in the 60s about a dolphin and his humans. There is this sound that flipper supposedly makes out of water that is unlike any other dolphin sound I have heard (I have studied underwater acoustics of pelagic dolphins for a long time). I have always wondered if this is a sound that dolphins may make in the air? Or perhaps they can be trained to make this sound? Or perhaps this sound is synthetic/fake?

Does anyone know if this is a real sound that dolphins make?

Link to sound on youtube.


2 Answers 2


The Washington Post reports that according to Jennifer Durkin from the Baltimore's National Aquarium:

The friendly voice of the dolphin in "Flipper" was dubbed -- it was, in fact, a recording of Australia's kookaburra bird.

Check out here, they sound similar to Flipper indeed :-)

  • $\begingroup$ That is amazing--- over the years I have periodically become re-obsessed with this question & never found any info on it.... Thank you!!! $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 22:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi @Shannon you can "accept" this answer, I think, to mark it as correct $\endgroup$
    – Dan Stowell
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 11:18

It was indeed a recording of a Aussie Kookaburra, additional it was sped up a bit.


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