Once again, there ain't nothing the internet can't do

Something outside keeps making this BBBZZZZZZZHHHHHT sound for about eight or nine seconds. It's super resonant, so it feels really loud, but it actually doesn't register that high on my decibel meter. (Yes, I am in fact nerdy enough that I have a decibel meter, used approximately once for calibrating sound equipment, and used frequently for things like trying to figure out what the hell that sound is outside, or being able to provide decibel measurements when the neighbor's landlord e-mails me back telling me that a neighbor's TV couldn't possibly be very loud inside my house.) I couldn't figure out if it was an insect, or a bug zapper, or someone's electrical box about to short out, or what.

I went on YouTube to see if I could find some cicadas to compare with, since they're the only zappy-sounding insect I could think of. I played some clips, and they didn't sound exactly like the thing outside. They did sound like electrical zaps though, so I felt confident that the thing outside could in fact be an insect, and I decided I could more or less put the issue to rest.

I clicked on a couple more cicada clips. Just for fun, I turned it up loud to see if it would wake up the cat. BZZZZZHHHTTT. He did wake up, glare at me, and go back to sleep. But more interestingly, the thing outside BZZZZZZHHHHHTTed back. This time, it sounded just like the thing in the YouTube clip. Curious, I tried another one. This was a bit different than the first, with short spurts of zapping.



Must have been a coincidence, right?

I clicked on a YouTube video of a whole bunch of cicadas.



Oh my god. I think I've just facilitated an interaction between an insect outside my house and some guy from Georgia's YouTube video. Eat your heart out, Al Gore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are right, cicadas' long-lasting sounds aren't all that loud but are quite reverberative and do feel very loud.

Cicadas drove me nuts when I lived in a third-floor apartment surrounded by trees. Their sounds penetrated my body and brain and seemed so near. I had never experienced that before, even in similar living conditions. Took me a while to figure it out.

That's funny, about the conversation between the live and recorded cicadas.