Megan shared the video below with me today and I just had to pass it along – before you press play, though, consider these visible sound phenomena…

  • Ultrasound:  ever wonder how those in utero fetal pictures work?  It’s sort of like the way bats “see” – by bouncing sound waves and their echoes off mom’s insides to construct an image of baby.
  • SONAR:  same basic bat principle is used underwater to navigate, communicate and detect other objects (like enemy submarines and such).
  • Synesthesia:  a perceptive ability that allows some people to “see” numbers, letters, days of the week, etc. as colors.
  • Sonic Booms:  under certain circumstances, when objects cross the sound barrier, the boom will create visible waves (see it here at about 1:49).

So, all of these things are interesting in their way, but not really anything the bulk of us can relate to easily (my simple explanations probably miss a whole LOT of important points).  This video, though, shows sound in a way I never imagined!  Watch for how the different notes and tempos change the shape of the strings.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the player would alter the effect – say, if a woman or child was playing (smaller hands, gentler touch) or if a different type of instrument would produce a different pattern?  I have no conclusions – just thought it was fascinating…