Field Recordings: “Singing” Icebergs in Antarctica

National Geographic News – “They are partly melodic, but not really melodic like singing, more like the screeching of a horror film in parts,” said Vera Schlindwein, a scientist with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.” Some are like an orchestra when all the violins start [playing] at once. Then, all of a sudden, it develops into harmonic sounds like a humming bird,” she added. “It is a well-developed sound.” The sounds are too low to be heard by humans and are only audible when played at higher speeds, Schlindwein said. She and her colleagues picked up the acoustic noise from seismic recordings made along Antarctica’s South Atlantic coast in 2000. The researchers believed the tremors were from volcanic activity. But when they tracked to their source, the scientists discovered the rumblings’ true origin.

Read abstract: “Singing Icebergs” (Science, Vol. 310, No. 5752, Nov. 2005).

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