The ground is surprisingly noisy

Photo credit: Chris Waits licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

BBC Future, republishing an article from Knowable Magazine, reports on research about underground noise, not that made by subway trains or utility pipes, but natural underground noise made by insects, small mammals, and plant roots.

The developing field of soil bioacoustics–also called biotremology or soil ecoacoustics–sheds light on a hidden world under our feet.

There are millions of organisms in just a cup of dirt, most of them bacteria and fungi, but animals include tiny springtails and mites, centipedes, slugs, earthworms, snakes, and small mammals such as moles, mice, and rabbits.

Noise pollution, especially from construction noise and roads, also penetrates nearby ground.

I learned a lot about underground noise, including a new word–stridulation–and think you will enjoy reading this article, too.


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