Thunder and Lightning: the big noises of the natural soundscape (plus volcanoes and tornadoes and …. )
In case you hadn’t noticed, nature makes a lot of big noises.
Perhaps you can imagine how scared our ancient ancestors felt when there was a thunder and lightning storm. Thunder was probably the loudest sound they would ever hear. It would be infrequent, but always scary. If you weren’t yet religious, you can see how quickly you might want a theistic explanation of this incredible noise above you. (Here is a Wiki link to a list of various Thunder gods.) And the accompanying lightning would just add to the fear level! If you have forgotten what thunder sounds like, check here for a quick refresher.
If you want a scientific, non-religious explanation of what thunder is, and how it is generated, check here.
Erupting volcanoes are also very loud. Krakatoa, which “blew” in 1883, is supposed to have been the loudest sound ever heard on Earth. It was heard 3, 000 miles away from its origin in Indonesia. (Wikipedia).
Here is a clip of an active volcano in Hawaii. (Today, make sure your speakers are turned up so you will get a better sense of the volume of these natural occurrences.)
And tornadoes – loud too! Here is a clip of a tornado coming past in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. As the poster suggests, turn up your volume and you will get an approximation of the sound of this terrifying tornado.
Let’s not forget the power and volume of earthquakes! Here is a clip of a recording, made in the Aluetian Islands, of the Honshu, Japan earthquake of March 2011. This came across the Pacific Ocean.
And finally, for today – glaciers calving make a lot of noise too! LOTS of it. Check it out here.