Tag Archive: listening

Scientists are learning to decode the sounds of icebergs

Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura, reports about what scientists have learned from “Listening to Icebergs’ Loud and Mournful Breakup Songs.” Laskow writes that seven years after the largest iceberg broke off of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, “the largest remaining chunk floated out into the South Pacific where, in the warmer water, it began to disintegrate.”  And for the next year, “the ocean was noisier than usual.”  Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had suspended hydrophones underwater and they “were picking up strange signals.” Interestingly, the scientists “didn’t even know that icebergs made noise,” says Haru Matsumoto, an ocean engineer at NOAA who has studied these sounds.”  But now they do and they measure “the extent to which those sounds contribute to the noise of the ocean,” because “the sounds of ice could help them understand the behavior and breakup of icebergs and ice shelves as the poles warm up.”

Click this link to hear what the scientists are hearing.

As if you needed another reason to ask for the music to be lowered:

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Can Your Ears Help Control Your Stomach?  According to a recent study, it looks like the answer is yes:

In one paper, marketing professors at Brigham Young and Colorado State universities asked 71 volunteers to eat a snack of pretzels while wearing over-the-ear headphones. Some volunteers were subjected to loud white noise from the headsets as they ate, while a second group heard quieter noise.

The result? Those listening to the loud noise consumed 49% more pretzels than those listening to the quieter noise. The findings suggest, according to the researchers, that the sound you make while eating is an important cue to how much you’re taking in. Listening to loud noise evidently made it harder to know when to stop, implying that dieters might want to turn down the music while dining.

Interestingly, the paper was the work of marketing professors.  No doubt the findings will be used by restaurant owners to crank up the volume even higher.