June 26, 2013 1:32 pm
Fin whales are massive, and massively endangered. Stretching 75 to 85 feet long, these whales can hit up to 80 tons. Though they cruise the oceans all over the world, their low numbers and the depth at which they swim make them hard to track and count. Fortunately for oceanographers, fin whales are a chatty bunch, emitting “loud, highly consistent calls [that] are relatively easy to identify.” Fin whale calls can be picked up on specialized marine microphones, but as researchers recently found out, their conversations can also be heard on seismic monitoring networks—sensors set up to watch for earthquakes and underwater volcanic eruptions.
Sped up a bit, the seismic detections of fin whale calls create a noise that’s not so different from a sound you’d hear pumping from a synthesizer in some electronic music. Seventeen-year-old Detroit-er Ahmad Muhammad must have thought the same thing, because he put together a dubstep compilation harnessing the natural rhythm of the fin whales.
h/t Kim Martini
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