Seeing is Hearing

As kids we get taught about the 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. They are each perceived by a different part of the body, i.e. sight with eyes and hearing with ears. But what if what we see clashes with what we hear, can we really hear with our eyes?

This short video is a really interesting view over an aspect of psychoacoustics looking into this. What makes this effect even better is that even when you know what’s happening, you can’t stop your brain from interpreting it as different.

Maybe we should stop relying on our eyes so much and start hearing with our ears, besides that was what we have them for!


[1] IoA SoundBites Spring 2014

[2] BBC 2 ‘Is Seeing Believing’ Documentary

Screaming in Space

So you all know the phrase that none can hear you scream in space, after all its true, there are no air particles for the sound to vibrate which is how sound travels. But is there any sound, I mean can you see sound in space? The idea of an audio tour of space seems really bizarre for this reason alone, however the BBC have managed to make a program from it, so it must be possible right?

The Sun

The idea is that by observing movements of patches of varying gas densities on the sun, any differences can be linked to vibrations and can be recreated for us to listen to. The movements, however are very low in frequency, below what we could hear anyway (we can hear as low as 20 Hertz, which is 20 vibrations per second). In order to hear this, it has been sped up, which kind of seems like cheating a bit, but I guess it doesn’t mean it can’t exist just cause we can’t hear it!

This reminded me of one of my fellow students blog posts (at University of Salford) a few weeks ago about a very low frequency in space. This sound had a frequency of 0.0000001 Hertz, now that is what you call bass!

If you get a chance, have a watch of the BBC’s short clip (its only 3:40) and let me know what you think and what your favourite sounds are!


[1] Image of the sun –