Just last month we told you about a whale with the ability to mimic human speech, but apparently that was just the beginning. An elephant with the ability to actually speak distinct words has now been discovered in South Korea.
The elephant, named Koshik, can utter five words in Korean: hello, good, no, lie down, and sit down. Koshik is able to emit the sounds using the tip of its trunk tucked into the corner of its mouth. When audio of the elephant's "speech" is played back to Korean speakers with no knowledge of the elephant, listeners confirm that the words are clearly identifiable as Korean language. And while elephants have long been considered one of the smartest animals on the planet, researchers from the University of Vienna in Austria studying the elephant don't believe it actually understands what it is saying.
Nevertheless, as these talking animal anecdotes pile up, it's beginning to seem like the notion of direct animal-to-human communication may no longer be the sole domain of science fiction. You can see Koshik saying the word "good" in Korean in the video below.