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How Sound Rules Life Underwater

Science Friday

13-06-2024 • 17 mins

Many people think of the ocean as a quiet and serene place: Take a dip underwater and the cacophony of the world melts away.

But the ocean is quite noisy, full of whale songs and echolocation, which whales and dolphins use to communicate. Cephalopods can make and hear sounds too, even without ears.

Then, there’s human-made noise, including the giant ships that crisscross the globe. The effects of this continuous low-volume noise are harder to track because they do not result in immediate injury or death. Rather, scientists are studying the long-term effects on animals’ communication, mating, and food gathering.

Ira talks with Amorina Kingdon, science journalist and author of the new book Sing Like Fish: How Sound Rules Life Underwater.

Read an excerpt of Sing Like a Fish: How Sound Rules Life Underwater.

Transcript for this segment will be available after the show airs on sciencefriday.com.

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