why do seashells sound like the ocean

First things first: No matter how much it may sound like rolling waves, youвre not hearing the ocean in a shell. Youвre picking up ambient noise thatвs being produced all around you, which you normally donвt really acknowledge or pay attention to. To amplify this ambient noise so you can hear it clearly, you need a resonator. Want to make one on the cheap? Form an O shape with your mouth and flick your finger against your cheek. You should hear a note. Make a smaller or larger O, and youвll get different notes. Youвre letting your mouth fulfill its potential as a Helmholtz resonator, in which sound is produced by air vibrating in a cavity with one opening.


The seashell youвre listening toвthe inside of which has many hard, curved surfaces great for reflecting soundвis also a resonator. Ambient noise is resonating inside the cavity of the shell, becoming amplified and clear enough to notice. Shells of differing sizes and shapes wonвt sound the same, because varying resonant chambers will amplify different frequencies. The fact that all shells sound just a little bit like the ocean is coincidental. Holding any sort of Helmholtz resonator to your ear will produce a similar effect.


Put an empty glass over your ear or even cup your hand around it, and the sound you hear will be just about the same, though it wonвt feel quite as special. More:
There is a popular that if one holds a specifically, most often, a shellto one's, one can hear the sound of the. The rushing sound that one hears is in fact the noise of the surrounding environment, within the cavity of the shell. The same effect can be produced with any, such as an empty cup or even by simply cupping one's hand over one's ear. The similarity of the noise produced by the resonator to that of the oceans is due to the resemblance between movements and airflow.


The resonator is simply some of the in the environment, including air flowing within the resonator and sound originating within the itself, more than others. The human picks up sounds made by the as well, including the sounds of blood flowing and acting. These sounds are normally discarded by the ; however, they become more obvious when louder external are filtered out. This occurs with seashells, cups, or hands held over one's ears, and also with, whose cups form a seal around the ear, raising the impedance to external sounds.

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