Friday, June 23, 2006

Garden: A Recipe for Noisy Sands

Deserts surround Terra Incognita; endless dunes of softly shifting sand that whisper, moan and thrum. I had forgotten how rare booming sands are in the rest of the world, until the serendipitous Mr Williams provided a timely reminder. (And did the research.)

Only some thirty locations worldwide provide the necessary conditions to make sand dunes that produce noises that have been compared to instruments as varied as violins, cellos, trumpets, bells, organs, and didgeridoos. The sound is usually a single musical tone, sometimes continuing for up to 15 minutes.

Luckily for the rest of the world, Nova Science Now have come up with a recipe for noisy sands. Now you can reliably produce either high frequency (and relatively common) squeaky sands or the more exotic and haunting low frequency booming sands.

As climate change accelerates and fertile land falls to desert and dustbowl, this recipe opens a whole new world of landscape gardening – one that is aural, created by micro avalanches. If nothing else, you’ll be able to decorate your environs with "the song of sirens who lure travelers to a waterless doom, the toiling of underground bells in sand-engulfed monasteries" similar to those that so enchanted British engineer and explorer R. A. Bagnold in the early soth century -- and Marco Polo somewhat earlier.

Nova Science Now Recipe for Noisy Sands >>