From the "stamping" of ants to the collision of black holes: how the world around us sounds - we listen together

    We continue to talk about unusual sounds based on World According to Sound micropodcast Sam Harnett and Chris Hoff. In the first part of our review, we talked about amazing musical works and instruments created by people.

    In this part, we will see what nature is capable of in this regard. We talk about amazing and unusual sounds that make insects, natural phenomena and the world around us. Photo Yellowstone National Park PD

    Yellowstone Geysers and Black Pool

    In the USA, at the junction of three states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) is the world's first national park, founded in 1872. On its territory there are many rivers, lakes, canyons, caves and even the largest supervolcano on the continent. But we are interested in various geysers and other geothermal sources. For example, the unusual "Black Pool".

    It looks like a huge black hole in the ground, filled with crystal blue water. Geothermal gases rise from the bottom of the pool and form bubbles that accumulate on the surface, emit constant rustling, and then burst.

    In the park you can find many geysers that “explode” with different regularities. Small geysers emit steam and water every ten minutes to a height of two to three meters. Large geysers can "charge" longer, but also shoot higher - for example, one of the largest geysers in the park "explodes" once every three days to a height of forty meters, the second - approximately every hour to a height of forty-two meters.

    Geyser water can rise from almost a kilometer depth. Ejection of water and steam by geysers, gas cracking, bubbling - all together this creates sounds of surprising saturation, which can serve as natural relaxing “music”:

    A similar relaxing effect is produced by most recordings with gurgling water or gurgling bubbles . Both that, and another - sounds with uniform sounding. They do not require special concentration from us, therefore we do not consider them dangerous and do not feel anxiety.

    Singing sands

    Sands "sound" for various reasons - under the influence of wind or during human walking. Scientists continue to explore the specific manifestations of this phenomenon. There are several conditions that the sand of the dune must meet in order for it to “sing”: the sand particles must be round, not exceed 0.5 mm in diameter, to reach a certain humidity. The sound of the singing dunes is difficult to compare with anything: it resembles a mix of percussion instrument and organ, flute and howl.

    Moreover, if the sand particles are as similar to each other as possible, the dune “sounds” with only one note (as, for example, in the desert in Morocco ).

    Ant steps

    One ant (depending on species) weighs from one to five milligrams. For humans, ants remain “silent”, but special sound recording equipment captures ant stomp without any problems. Here, it was recorded using JrF contact microphones designed by sound engineer Jez riley French.

    They are so sensitive that they record the smallest surface vibrations - including ant stomp. Sharp clicks are ants trying to bite a microphone:

    Gravity waves

    In February 2016, scientists experimentally discovered gravitational waves - distortions of space-time, the existence of which was predicted by Albert Einstein. The gravitational-wave observatories LIGO (USA) and VIRGO (Italy) recorded a signal of the merger of two massive (36 and 29 solar masses) black holes, which occurred more than a billion light-years from Earth. The orbits of black holes rotate faster and finally collide in a high crescendo:

    The data recorded by scientists can be represented in different planes and different media. In this case, the sound has become one of such means - not only for the sake of beauty and clarity, but also because the signal received by the observatories really is at a frequency approximately coinciding with the frequency of human speech. It was sound in one of its forms that became the means of knowing the unknown secrets of the universe, due to which one of the most important (if not the most important) scientific discoveries of our generation was accomplished.

    Now the sound of gravitational waves is one of the most recognizable in the world. He found his reflection in the music . For example, one of the first musical compositions “based on” sounds like this .

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