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Author Topic: Why do we hear the sound of the sea in a seashell held to the ear?  (Read 2411 times)

Offline chris

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Why does a seashell held to the ear sound like the ocean?


 

Offline Bill S

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I have always assumed it was sounds generated within the ear, such as blood rushing through vessels; but I could be quite wrong.
 

Offline Devilmunkey

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Yes I believe Bill S got it with this one, you could get a similar result from holding a glass or any kind of receptacle. The brain is able to tune out a variety of sounds that result from the basic function of the body (much in the same manner as the brain learning to interpret information from the eyes correctly, as otherwise we would see an 'upside down' representation of the world around us). Using such an item allows the acoustic effect of activity within the inner ear to be amplified, thus we hear a sound somewhat similar to waves.
 

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