“Sound is mechanical,” writer Maggie Koerth-Baker notes, in response to a child’s query about the loudest sound in the world. “A sound is a shove — just a little one, a tap on the tightly stretched membrane of your ear drum. The louder the sound, the heavier the knock.”
The little girl, Kara Jo, wanted to hear the loudest sound in the world — but Koerth-Baker gave a pretty good example as to why not.
Sound, it turns out, can be very destructive at high decibels. It can even kill you.
In 1883, ranchers in Australia, heard what sounded to them like two rifle shots. What they actually heard came from 2,233 miles away. It was the sound of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa blowing up in a volcanic eruption. It may be the loudest sound on human record. Recorded spikes in atmospheric pressure indicate that waves from the sound circled the globe three times.
“Snap your fingers and you jostle the particles right next to you,” Koerth-Baker explains. “As they wiggle, they bump into the particles next to them, which, in turn, nudge the particles next to them. These wiggles are what the world’s barometers were measuring in the wake of the Krakatoa eruption.”
Sound, she pointed out is particle movement, which is why you can’t hear anything in a vacuum, like space.
The loudest animal is a sperm whale, which uses echolocation to navigate. The “clicks” made by sperm whales to detect what’s around them with echoes are 200 decibels. By comparison, the loudest sound recorded by NASA was the first stage of the Saturn V rocket — at 204 decibels. Both sounds are loud enough to rupture your eardrums.
Watch observers react to a sound wave from the Tavurvur volcano in Papua New Guinea in 2014. Note: Keep your volume low.
John Oliver explains how Dems can bring the pain to Mitch McConnell — even if he wins re-election
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver returned to his Sunday show, fresh off of an Emmy win, to explain how the United States got so incredibly f*cked up.
Oliver began by remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and noting that her seat will be taken over by a far-right conservative justice who will unmake healthcare, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights and more things Americans have indicated they want.
He played a clip of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) claiming that America is a "center-right" country, which Oliver called outright "bullsh*t." Not only do Americans overwhelming support reproductive freedom, they also support LGBTQ equality. At the same time, Americans also believe, overwhelmingly, that President Donald Trump shouldn't be allowed to appoint the next justice.
Trump campaign blames Dems for ex-campaign manager Parscale’s reported self-harm threat
The Trump campaign is blaming "Democrats and disgruntled RINOs" for the reported self-harm threat of its former campaign manager Brad Parscale.
"The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they've done to this man and his family," said Trump campaign’s communications director Tim Murtaugh.
Former Army prosecutor explains why Trump will ‘get laughed out of court’ if he tries to steal the election
Democrats are still panicking about the plots that President Donald Trump and the Republican Party seem to be cooking up to circumvent the people's vote in November.
Last week's shocking piece in The Atlantic detailed how electors in Pennsylvania could be manipulated to deliver Trump the vote despite ballots to the contrary. After President George W. Bush's campaign convincing the Supreme Court to stop Florida from counting the 2000 election ballots, there is a fear that Trump too could manipulate the courts to get his Supreme Court justices to deliver him a win.