There’s nothing quite so eerie and otherworldly as the sound of freezing ice, or the bubbling of mud pots. Some of the more relaxing sounds are of water droplets or waves crashing. Then there are those who are fascinated by a variety of amphibian and reptile sounds. (As a bonafide, self-proclaimed “herp nerd,” that last one is me). Whatever it is, you can’t argue with the fact that everyone appreciates nature sounds in some form or another.
Now we can all navigate online to hear the sounds mentioned and many more — including the bellows of bison and a dawn chorus of coyotes — recorded in Yellowstone National Park as well as across the West as part of an addition to the Montana State University Library’s Acoustic Atlas.
I must say, this has to be one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in a while. I spent quite a bit of time listening to nature sounds I never thought I’d hear; not that close up anyway. I listened to growling bears, sizzling geysers, and bats to name a few.
The website also includes a developing podcast series highlighting America’s first national park. One of the podcasts features longtime wolf technician Rick McIntyre and recordings of wolves howling in winter. McIntyre speaks briefly about the “unnatural silence” in the park before the wolves were reintroduced. Another listens to the warbling wing and tail sounds of a male Wilson’s snipe courtship call.
The new recordings were created through a cooperative project between the Acoustic Atlas and Yellowstone National Park. The growing audio collection aims to create new ways to experience the animals, landscapes and people of the area by offering a freely accessible online archive of nature sounds, interviews, and radio stories focused on the entire Yellowstone area, according to the Billings Gazette.
“We could not be more excited to share the sounds of Yellowstone through our archive,” said Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of the Montana State University Library, in a press release. “Montana State University Library launched the Acoustic Atlas because there are relatively few natural sound collections at libraries and even fewer focusing on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”
Photos: Associated Press