The Beautiful Near-Silence of Botswana's Okavango Delta at Night

Illustration for article titled The Beautiful Near-Silence of Botswanas Okavango Delta at Night

I spend most of my weekdays on my sofa sitting in front of a computer screen. I'm guessing a lot of you spend most of your weekdays in some kind of indoor office environment, also sitting in front of a computer screen. Wanna close your eyes with me and take a sonic journey to Botswana's incredible Okavango Delta?

You have to be quiet. The sounds of the wildlife—and there is lots of wildlife: wildebeests and crocodiles and rhinos and cranes—are subtle, so quiet that at first you can hardly hear them and it seems like maybe you're just listening to total, blissful silence. But then; the faint noises of nocturnal life emerge in the darkness. You can't see what's rustling, but imagining what's out there is both calming and creepy at the same time.

The original recording was taken as part of Into the Okavango, an 18-day "live data expedition" made up of scientists, engineers, creative types, and BaYei bushmen. All the data from the trip, from animal sightings to water quality, are being published through an open-access API and updated on Twitter, with incredible pics posted on National Geographic.


I was tipped off to the adventure by experimental musician Brian House, who took one audio clip and slowed it down times fifty for an entirely new kind of otherworldly experience.

More on Into the Okavango here, but before you go clicking around, take a moment to let your mind wander under the stars. [Into the Okavango, @h0use]

Welcome to Soundtrack, what Gizmodo's staff is listening to every night.


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