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Apr 13, 2017 09:03 AM EDT

Research Now Makes It Possible To Listen To An Earthquake’s ‘Whale Songs’ [Video]

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Mexico City residents still unable to return home following deadly earthquake

Geophysicist Ben Holtzman and Jason Candler, musician/sound designer, both having a passion for sharing their passion for earthquakes with the public, did a research on the subject. Twelve years later, the fruits of their research brought SeismoDome.

SeismoDome makes it possible to "hear" an earthquake, and by hearing, it meant hearing the earthquake itself and not the earth rumblings resulting from earthquakes. National Geographic reported that Holtzman and Candler co-produced a show, wherein Holtzman wrote scientific content, created sounds from seismic data along with collaborators who produced the visual elements, while Candler handled sound engineering and design, apart from contributing to the writing and conception of the show.

According to Holtzman, we humans perceive an enormous amount of information brought about by the physical process of sound, and that we do it mostly subconsciously. A sound such as doors creaking, interpreting footfalls and motor sounds; processing these sounds only becomes conscious when we do not know what the sound is, he said.

To this date, no scientific study has proven how animals reliably predict natural disasters such as earthquakes, but there has been recorded evidence of animals freaking out and fleeing before an earthquake starts. Even the U.S. Geological Survey admits that animals perceive earthquakes sooner than us humans. See videos below.

     

Earthquake sounds are completely inaudible if it is played at its natural speed, due to the fact that the sound it makes is not within our hearing range. However, if an earthquake's frequency is shifted up, a broader range of sounds is heard varying on how close the seismometer was to the source, including the magnitude of such quakes.

In order to teach people about earthquake concepts such as plate tectonics and surface waves, Holtzman and Candler employs the SeismoDome project. Additionally, they hope to educate people not just about earthquakes, but what it tells us about the Earth in a broader sense.

Accordingly, they compress Earth time into each sound and video, which ranges from a few hours to a few years. Their goal is to pull the crowd's sense of spatial and temporal scale to give the audience a sense of thinking about our lives differently.

Holtzman and Candler will hold the next SeismoDome program this coming fall, October 25th at the Hayden Planetarium, 200 Central Park West, New York.

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