Ocean shell noises
Name: Rick A Cazzato
Why do you here noises when you put a ocean shell to your ear?
Does this happen because of the shell or is it because of the blood
traveling in your ear? I have heard both ideas.
There is no source of noise in the shell. The surface of the
interior of the shell is so smooth that sound reflects easily
and is often sent back out of the opening of the shell back into
your ear. So, you are hearing reflected sound. What is the source
of the reflected sound? It is probably your heartbeat and other
sounds from the sounds around. Because of the different shape
of the passages of the shell the reflections will not come back
to the opening in the same order that they came in. This may
contribute to the "noise."
Samuel P Bowen
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Update: June 2012