AN AMAZING FACT: There is more noise in the ocean than merely the lapping of waves or bubbling fish. Humans cannot hear many ocean sounds when underwater because a pocket of air in the outer ear blocks them. But when using an underwater microphone you will discover that the ocean is full of amazing sounds. Dolphins chatter, triggerfish grate their teeth together, sea horses rub their heads against their backs.
Among the loudest creatures of the deep is a finger-size shrimp with an oversize claw resembling a boxing glove. The pistol shrimp (or alpheid shrimp) snaps shut a specialized claw to create a cavitation wave that generates noise like gunshots in excess of 200 decibels. This sea creature blasts bubbles at over 60 mph, producing a sharp cracking sound and a temperature comparable to that of the sun. The sound will not only scare off enemies but is capable of killing small fish. In fact, when colonies of the pistol shrimp snap their claws, the cacophony is so intense that submarines can take advantage of it to hide from sonar.
However, the greatest noise makers in the ocean are whales. The song of the humpback whale consists of vast roars, deep bellows, and groans interspersed with interesting sighs, chirps, and squawks. And the songs go on for 10 minutes or more. Once completed, the whale will repeat it again and again for hours. Each year the song tunes change somewhat, as the whales seem to experiment with different arrangements.
The largest creature in the world is of course the blue whale. It has the biggest lungs and makes the most noise. Blasts of 188 decibels have been reported, making the blue whale much louder than a jet, which reaches only 140 decibels! This extraordinarily earsplitting whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles underwater. Theoretical calculations once predicted that the loudest whale sounds might be transmitted across an entire ocean.
Some people think the second coming of Jesus is going to be a quiet event, yet the Bible teaches it is connected with a tremendous noise that will be heard across land and sea. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise” (2 Peter 3:10). The sound will surpass the greatest decibels Earth has ever experienced. Will you be listening for Jesus’ coming?
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Psalms 96:11