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Science & Technology

Ice makes strange sounds in bizarre new video

By T.K. Randall
February 17, 2020 · Comment icon 4 comments

Who knew that ice could be so noisy ? Image Credit: YouTube / John Andrew Higgins / Storyful
Dropping a chunk of ice down a 450ft borehole can produce weird sounds resembling cartoon ricochets.
In a recent Twitter post, isotope geochemist John Andrew Higgins, who is currently working in Antarctica, shared footage of an interesting experiment involving a borehole and a chunk of ice.

"What does a 9 inch ice core sound like when dropped down a 450ft hole ?" he wrote. "Like this!"

The sounds produced by the falling ice are undeniably bizarre - resembling something like cartoon lasers or gunshot ricochets repeating over and over followed by a heartbeat-like thudding.
This phenomenon was recorded previously by glaciologist Peter Neff who received over 10 million views for his footage of a piece of ice being dropped down a 295ft borehole.

"The first thing you hear as the ice is falling is the pitch of the sound changing," he said. "That's the Doppler effect. Then when the ice hits the bottom of the bore hole, the sound doesn't only come straight up - the sound waves start to bounce off the sides of the hole."

"That's why you hear this 'pew!' with sort-of a heartbeat sound afterwards."

You can check out the sounds for yourself in the video below.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (4)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Bendy Demon 3 years ago
Sounds so unrealistic but this is real physics at work. Amazing stuff.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 years ago
They pulled the pump jack and took out all the sucker rod and pipe out of our ~950 oil well and us kids dropped rocks down the hole and listened to them whistle, band and clatter all the way down. Fun Stuff.
Comment icon #3 Posted by MissJatti 3 years ago
Stormtroopers missing their targets again
Comment icon #4 Posted by TrikeTrash 3 years ago
When we were kids, we'd crawl in a concrete culvert and burn strips of plastic that held 6 packs of beer together. The burning plastic made a real kewl "ziiip" sound as it fell with the culvert amplifying the sound.  It was great fun until my brother let his drip on the back of my hand, couldn't hear the "zipping" after that just a lot of screaming...

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