What does a 9 inch ice core sound like when dropped down a 450 foot hole?
Just like this!
What does a 9 inch ice core sound like when dropped down a 450 foot hole? Like this! Credit to @peter_neff for the idea and @Scripps_Polar, @sciencejenna, @GeosciencesPU, @US_IceDrilling, and @paleosurface for the execution! pic.twitter.com/pW7LxKdbUB— John Andrew Higgins (@blueicehiggins) February 7, 2020
Yes of course this video has gone viral. And there’s even a good reason for the strange sounds.
These scientists were in Antarctica drilling the ice to find gas bubbles trapped in the ice cores to obtain, after analysis, a “snapshot” about the of conditions thousands of years ago.
The idea of dropping the ice down the borehole was from Dr Peter Neff. This guy had already had the same idea back in 2018:
So what’s behind the Star Wars Sound?
The distorted sound as the ice falls has to do with the physical phenomenon known as ‘Doppler Effect.’
An easy example is the change in pitch when an emergency vehicle with a siren drives past.
“When the ice hits the bottom of the borehole, the sound doesn’t only come straight up – the sound waves start to bounce off the sides of the hole. That’s why you hear this plink! with sort of a heartbeat sound afterwards,” Neff explained.