Sea sounds: sci-fi seals, screaming manatees

You've probably the playful whistling of dolphins and the majestic songs of whales, but some marine mammals just don't get the appreciation they deserve when it comes to acoustics -- probably because they sound creepy or hilarious.

Manatees squeak to communicate -- perhaps unexpected for such a large cow-like creature (Eric protested that they should moo). You can listen to their chirping at Save the Manatee. My favorite sirenian vocalization, however, is their screaming, which sounds hilariobearder-seal-audio-ocrus. I'll never be able to look at a manatee again without hearing this, as if manatees weren't already ridiculous enough!

While manatee sounds are amusing, certain seals produce decreasing sets of tones, reminiscent of video game or sci-fi sound effects. Some of these sounds are cool (like a phaser gun firing off), but some are downright chilling (like UFOs descending).

  • Leopard Seal: Now you know the creepy Predator-like sounds that this animal will taunt you with before it rips your head off.
  • Bearded Seal: Sci-fi chorus.
  • Ribbon Seal: Super cute seal, space ship noises.
  • Weddell Seal: Listen to the sound file with the spectrogram image at the bottom of the page; this seal sounds like an arcade shooter.

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