How does sound look like? Psychedelic sound patterns of whales, birds, and insects

Are you wondering how sound looks like?

Look at these psychedelic sound patterns of whales, birds, and insects!

Like a flower: An image of White beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) sounds converted by wavelet graph

An image of White beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) sounds

You might wonder what these kaleidoscope photographs are. These represent the sounds of different mammals, birds and insects living on Earth.

Plasma ball-esque: The pattern made by the sound of the False killer whale

The pattern made by the sound of the False killer whale

Yes amazing! But how are the images created? Accoustic pressure signals are time-series data which can be analyzed and decomposed into useful quantities.

Jagged: The sounds of the Chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina) produce this blue-green sharp-looking image

The sounds of the Chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina).

To produce these colorful screenshots, Mark Fischer uses a wavelet transform, which represents a signal with a series of wavelets rather than sinusoids and then colors them with an imaging software.

Five-petalled: The sounds of the white beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) create this beautiful blue flower graphAnother song of the white beaked dolphin creates this blue flower graph

Mark Fischer does not cut-and-paste or create any symmetry, but tries to represent the sound of the whale or dolphin as honestly as it can be done.

Burst: This graph shows the familiar chirping sound of crickets

This graph shows the familiar chirping sound of crickets

Each color represents a different frequency: Reds for low frequency, greens and blues for medium frequencies, and violets for the highest frequencies.

Pulsing: Here another graph visualises the common insect's much-loved soundHere another graph visualises the common insect’s much-loved sound

It is after an inspiring trip with a whale researcher, that Mr Fischer started capturing the sounds back in 2001.

Low frequency: The song of the Northern minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) makes this warm looking image like the flames from a gas cooker

Low frequency: The deep song of the Northern minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) makes this warm looking image like the flames from a gas cooker.

High-pitched now: Another graph of the songs of the Northern minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), this time showing different frequencies
Another graph of the songs of the Northern minke whale, this time of higher frequencies
Snowflake: This is a third sound from the same species visualised
This is a third sound from the same species visualised
Curves: Another graph of White beaked dolphin song
Another graph of White beaked dolphin song
Spirograph? This image of Atlantic spotted dolphin song looks as if it was made with the old-school children's art toy
This image of Atlantic spotted dolphin song looks as if it was made by a kaleidoscope.
Psychedelic: This graph shows the song of an unidentified birdPsychedelic: This graph shows the song of an unidentified bird

They see me rolling: Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song looks like thisHumpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song looks like this

Deep reds: Another visualisation of humpback whale song
Another visualisation of humpback whale song
Going green: Another graph shows the song of the false killer whale
Another graph shows the song of the false killer whale
Minimalist: The Eastern screech owl (Megascops asio) creates this image like the spokes of bicycle wheel
The Eastern screech owl (Megascops asio) creates this image like the spokes of bicycle wheel
Pretty: A image of Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) song converted by wavelet graph
An image of Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) song

It seems that the sounds of insects are not as complex as those of birds, whales and dolphins.

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