13 Fascinating Facts About Sound That You Probably Didn't Know
To many, sound is an enigma, an invisible force that shapes our days and influences our moods but somehow remains one of the most mysterious and misunderstood phenomena in our lives. That’s why we decided to take this opportunity to dispel some myths, share some fun science facts about sound, and offer some genuinely awe-inspiring cool facts about sound that you might not know.
13 Fascinating Facts About Sound
Every day, we’re surrounded by a symphony of sounds, from the soft hum of a computer fan to birds chirping in the morning sun. Beyond this daily soundscape exists a world of acoustical wonders waiting to be explored. Here are thirteen interesting, fun facts about sound:
1. Egg Cartons Don’t Actually Work
We’ve all seen DIY studio setups using egg cartons as makeshift soundproofing. While innovative, the science behind effective sound absorption paints a different picture. For a material to absorb sound efficiently, it needs to have countless tiny structures that can transform the force of sound waves into kinetic energy.
Acoustical foam does this expertly, by employing a strategic array of microscopic bubbles. Egg cartons, on the other hand, just don’t measure up. Their thinness and lack of density make them far less effective than industry-standard acoustic panels. For those seeking genuine acoustic materials, consider AlphaSorb® Flat Acoustic Foam and AlphaSorb® Pyramid Acoustic Foam.
2. Erupting Volcanoes Are the Loudest Natural Sound
The sheer power of an erupting volcano is awe-inspiring, and it’s not just the visual spectacle. These geological behemoths produce the loudest natural sounds on our planet. The energy and turbulence they unleash creates a deafening roar that, if close enough, can be both heard and felt deeply in your bones. Though, if you’re close enough to hear one, the sound is probably the least of your troubles.
3. Sound Can’t Travel Through Space
Space battles with booming explosions might be thrilling on a cinematic level, but they’re pure fiction. The vacuum in space lacks the necessary molecules for sound to travel, so it doesn’t. On Earth, sound travels because air molecules vibrate, and transmit the vibrations to our ears. In space, without these molecules, sound simply has no medium through which to travel.
4. A Crying Baby is Technically Louder Than a Car Horn
This might come as a surprise to many, but the shrill cry of a baby can often surpass the decibel level of a car horn. This is nature’s way of addressing a baby’s needs promptly because their cries are designed to grab attention, to make sure caregivers notice and respond to their needs swiftly.
5. Soundproof Paint Isn’t An Effective Soundproofing Solution
Soundproof paint, with its promise of noise-free environments, may sound like an acoustic miracle, and the science behind it is fascinating. The paint has particles intended to absorb sound that converts it into harmless heat energy. However, the reality is a tad disappointing.
The paint primarily muffles higher frequencies – think of the high-pitched voice of a child. Unfortunately, it’s largely ineffective against the more intrusive midrange and bass sounds that usually cause disturbances. If you’re serious about soundproofing, the AlphaSorb® Barrier Acoustic Panels and AudioSeal® Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Soundproofing Barrier are much more adept solutions.
6. Dogs Hear Better Than Humans
Man’s best friend possesses auditory capabilities that are nothing short of extraordinary. Dogs can detect high-frequency sounds well beyond our range. This incredible hearing ability allows them to pick up on sounds and noises humans can’t, which makes them nature’s perfect sound detectors.
7. Whips Move Faster Than the Speed of Sound
The crack of a whip isn’t just dramatic flair; it’s a sonic marvel. When a whip is snapped, its tip travels faster than the speed of sound, which creates that signature cracking sound, which is actually a mini sonic boom.
8. Sound Moves Faster Through Water
If you’ve ever tried listening underwater, you’ve probably noticed that sounds are oddly clear and fast. The reason is that water molecules are densely packed, and they allow sound waves to travel about four times faster than in air. This acoustic phenomenon is why underwater communications in marine exploration are so distinct.
9. Sound Can Be Used to Levitate Objects
While it might sound like a page out of a sci-fi novel, sound waves, when harnessed correctly, can levitate small objects. Using ultrasonic waves and the right frequencies, researchers have managed to defy gravity, by making objects float in mid-air and showcasing the incredible potential of sound.
10. Flies Cannot Hear
Flies might buzz around incessantly, but ironically, they can’t hear their buzz or any other sound. They rely heavily on their other senses to navigate their environment, including their antennae, which makes them one of the unique creatures that experience a silent world.
11. Music Helps Cows Produce Milk
Who knew cows were music enthusiasts? It turns out that cows exposed to calming melodies tend to be more relaxed and, consequently, produce more milk. Next time you see a farmer playing music to his herd, you’ll know it’s not just for entertainment!
12. Sound Can Be Used to Put Out Fires
Sound, as a form of energy, can interact with its surroundings in surprising ways. One of the most intriguing applications of sound energy is its ability to extinguish flames. Though it might seem like a concept straight out of science fiction, researchers have successfully demonstrated that sound waves can be used to put out fires.
13. A 1% Opening Can Let in 50% of Sound Energy
When it comes to soundproofing, every tiny gap matters. A seemingly insignificant 1% opening around a door or window can let in a staggering 50% of external sound energy. For a soundproofing solution that doesn’t compromise, we highly recommend a number of our groundbreaking products, including:
- PrivacyShield® Soundproofing Door Seal Kit (Complete Set)
- Iso-Step® Soundproofing Underlayment
- PrivacyShield® ABSC-25 Barrier Septum Soundproofing Blanket
Looking for Acoustical Solutions for Your Home or Business?
Your sound environment plays a pivotal role in your well-being and productivity. At Acoustical Solutions, we’re here to help with an expansive range of products tailored to meet diverse acoustic needs. Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet, improved speech clarity, a semblance of privacy, or acoustic balance, achieving the perfect sound environment can make all the difference.
Embrace the power of sound and its endless possibilities. Contact us today to learn more!
To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.