Scientists from Caltech have recorded horrifying sounds coming from the dunes of the Mojave Desert.
The research effort was led by Melany Hunt. Over the past year, she and her team have been studying the Mojave Desert. They have also recorded creepy sounds coming from the seemingly endless desert dunes. These are heard only at dawn.
The recorded song of the desert was at a very low frequency and resembles a series of groans, sounding creepily sinister.
Scientists have determined that the song of the desert begins with the movement of the grains of sand. They theorized that the effect was caused by the wind carrying the sand. The tonality of the sounds changed due to the different sizes of the grains of sand on impact, as well as the frequency of occurrence.
Several experiments were done to check the feasibility of their theory. They found that aside from the surface, the sound could come from inside the dunes themselves.
The theory was tested through a field experiment. Scientists placed a metal container on the sand and began hitting it with a hammer, resulting in a natural resonance in the dunes. According to the scientists, a stronger resonance can cause the sand grains to collapse.
These data are not at all surprising. A similar phenomenon can be observed in numerous other deserts, each of them with their own acoustics, tonality and sound. It's been determined, for example, that American deserts sing at a lower frequency than African ones.