'Singing' ice: Listen to the 'alien' sounds at Earth's poles trends now
From 'singing' ice and a 'sci-fi' seal, the bizarre sounds at the Earth's two poles have been revealed in a new research project.
Scientists have used underwater microphones to capture new audio from living species and geological processes in the Arctic and Antarctic.
It includes 'singing' ice – a sound made by ice contracting or moving in water – as well as a Ross seal sounding like it's being broadcast from a spaceship.
Also featured is the dramatic sound of two icebergs colliding like a pneumatic drill, and a narwhal making noises similar to a sheep.
The 'Polar Sounds' project has been led by the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg, Germany.
Pictured, a Ross seal (Ommatophoca rossii) sleeping on the ice of the Antarctica. A recording of the species makes it sound like it is in space
More than 50 audio snippets are available online and can be used by 'sound artists and musicians to creatively reinterpret', project leaders say.
- Singing sea ice
- Ross seal
- Antarctic minke whale
- Antarctic blue whale
- Colliding icebergs
- Seismic shooting
'These sounds are fairly alien to most people,' Dr Geraint Rhys Whittaker, researcher at HIFMB and project coordinator for Polar Sounds, told the BBC.
'We probably think we know what the poles sound like but often that is imagined.'
The sounds range from biological (such as marine mammals), geological (such as the movement of ice) and anthropogenic or human-made.
One example of this latter category is 'seismic shooting' – blasting compressed air into the water towards the ocean floor to locate oil and gas deposits.
The eerie seismic shooting sample is like the sound of distant bombs in a warzone.