Posted by Dr. Science on 12/19/2014 in Question
Why do ships and lighthouses use low frequency warning sounds?
———- from Ben DeJean of Los Angeles, CA
It’s a match for the belching noise made by seals. Marine folklore tells us that such sounds have been used as navigational aids since at least the Middle Ages. The belching of a seal was the only sound that could be heard over the drunken carousing of sailors, and their frequent ‘Argh Arghs’ and ‘Shiver Me Timbers.’ Modern lighthouses no longer use real seals, but use a digital sample of ‘Slimy’ the great Seal of the North, who lived for almost 40 years at the National Bureau of Standards, in Bethesda, Maryland.