You know that thing you do where you talk to your dog like it’s a baby? New research shows that puppies respond well to this silly form of speech, but older dogs could give a crap. So, stop doing it when your dog grows up.
Most of us, when we picture life beneath the sea, tend to focus our imaginations on the sights—shimmering schools of fish, predatory sharks, luminous reefs. We seem far less concerned with what it sounds like beneath the waves—which is why you may be surprised to learn that marine life has a lot to say.
Ötzi the Iceman, the world’s favorite prehistoric mummy, has been subjected to every scientific test imaginable, since his remains were discovered poking out of a glacier high in the Italian Alps in 1991. Now, a team of Italian researchers has reconstructed Ötzi’s vocal cords and used it to reproduce what his voice…
I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the company of drummers, and every last one has been a little bit weird. That level of independent limb coordination must do something to your neural circuitry. Some of them hide their strangeness... unless they get to talking about “room tone.” Then they start describing sounds as …
Some butterfly species sport striking patterns on their wings which they use to visually camouflage themselves from predators. But the luna moth is a nocturnal creature. Scientists have suggested that the unique twisty tails of these moths help throw off predators like bats that rely on sound to hunt and navigate—a…
Using sound frequencies above the human threshold for hearing, scientists have successfully levitated a two-inch sphere made from polystyrene.
Sound is something of an ephemeral phenomenon, existing in the moment that vibrations travel through the air. Those vibrations also exhibit distinct patterns, depending on frequency, which can be visualized by scattering a fine dust over a vibrating plate. This was the inspiration for Resonantia, an album whose…
Beneath the hum of ship traffic and the chatter of marine life, another sound is emanating from the Caribbean Sea. It’s far too low pitched for humans to hear, but its signature can be detected from space. Scientists have never seen—or heard—anything like it.
Most people have a modest two-octave vocal range when they sing, but some rare talents can manage five octaves or more. Think the late great, Freddie Mercury of Queen, or Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose, although composer-singer Tim Storms holds the Guinness World Record for the largest vocal range: a whopping 10 octaves.
Using machine learning, researchers from MIT have developed a system that produces sound effects that are so realistic they even fool human listeners.
The growing popularity of so-called “vocal fry,” particularly among young women, is either a hot new trend or the bane of cultured discourse, depending on who you ask. But when it comes to popular music, vocal fry actually enhances expressiveness.
Back in 2006, Nike introduced the high-performance SUMO 2 golf club driver, specially engineered to help golfers hit straighter shots, even for slightly off-center hits. There was just one problem: the newly designed club made an unpleasantly loud, tinny sound when it struck the ball—so much so, that most players…
Chances are you’ve seen the gorgeous patterns that sound waves produce when sand is sprinkled on a vibrating metal plate. Now French physicists have produced inverse versions of these patterns using microbeads suspended in a liquid. They described their work in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters.
Majestic North American elk are known for producing high-pitched, screeching calls that carry for miles, particularly during breeding season. Known as “bugling,” it sounds for all the world like the piercing shrieks of the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. This has puzzled scientists, because the pitch of an…
Cheese, aubergine, ham, and tortillas are tasty in their own right, but in the hands of artist Matthew Herper, they also make beautiful music. He uses laser-etching to make edible—and still playable—record albums to explore the acoustical properties of food.
Violin makers routinely finish their instruments with a thick coat of varnish, the better to protect and preserve the wood. Now Swiss scientists claim that this varnish also plays a role in the overall sound quality of the instrument.
Deep rumbles, unearthly moans, high pitched screeching: these are but a few elements of the alien soundscape researchers have now recorded for the first time at Challenger Deep, the deepest known valley on the seafloor.
Every day, troves of hungry marine organisms—shrimp, jellyfish, squid and bony fish—migrate from the ocean’s murky depths to the surface. For the first time, marine biologists have captured the sound of their collective lunch outing. May it be the sonic backdrop to all of your future, jellyfish-induced nightmares.
It’s natural to think of sound as an exclusively auditory experience. But if you were to see a sound wave, what would it look like? Science photographer Linden Gledhill decided to find out using water and neon lights. And the result is some psychedelic synesthesia.