- Top 5 Loudest Animals In The World
1.1 Whales: 230 dB
1.2 Tiger Pistol Shrimp: 200 dB
1.3 Bulldog Bat: 140 dB
1.4 Green Grocer Cicada: 135 dB
1.5 Kakapo: 132 dB
- What Is The Loudest Animal Sound Ever Measured
- Can The Loudest Animals in The World Damage Your Hearing
- How To Generate Such A Powerful Noise
- The Simplest Way To Measure The Noise Of The Animal
5.1 Decibel Pro App
We know animals can roar and growl and howl and that they can definitely get loud. Much louder than humans. With some of them, you expect the sounds they can produce just judging by their sheer size. For instance, it’s no wonder a lion’s growl can scare you out of your boots.
With others, however, it may be surprising to discover just how loud they can be. Especially the tiny ones. There are some minuscule animals and insects out there that can produce some of the loudest sounds in the world.
With this in mind, it’s only natural to wonder what animal is capable of producing the loudest sound? Is it a small one or a large one?
That’s what we set out to find out and talk about in this article. We’re going to see which animal is the loudest in the world and what animals are capable of producing sounds that humans could never come close to.
Top 5 Loudest Animals in the World
How is loudness measured? How can we determine what animal produces the loudest sound or what the loudest animal is?
To answer this question, we must dig into how sound is measured. Sound is typically measured in decibels (dB). Decibels measure sound pressure and the human ear can sustain sounds of up to 120-130 dB. Louder sounds can cause physical pain or deafness. However, loudness is not all about decibels.
When humans study loud sounds, they usually do so from the perspective of human hearing. Humans are capable of hearing a wide range of frequencies. These frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz). Humans hear frequencies between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
A human’s hearing threshold depends on the frequency of the sound they hear. Some animals are high-pitched like the Jacobin hummingbird. On the other hand, some produce low tone sounds like the roar of a tiger.
That is why loudness can sometimes be subjective. Because we judge the loudest sound made by an animal by how loud we perceive it.
Then, there is also the duration and intensity of the sound to take into account. The longer we hear a sound and the more intense it is, the louder we will perceive it.
There’s a lot of variety and variables. So, to determine what animal produces the loudest sound, we need to consider many different factors.
Here’s a list of the top 5 loudest animals in the world based on the decibel level they can reach:
- Blue whale
- Tiger pistol shrimp
- Bulldog bat
- Green grocer cicada
Whales: 236 dB
While we’ve all heard that blue whales are the loudest animal in the animal kingdom, that’s not exactly true. The sound of a blue whale can, indeed, reach surprisingly high limits. Measurements have shown that the call of a blue whale can reach 188 dB.
So, blue whales are definitely loud, louder than a jet engine. They’re just not the loudest.
The loudest whale ever recorded is in fact the sperm whale. It communicates with other sperm whales and navigates through clicks that last about 10 milliseconds.
The sperm whale is the loudest species of whale, reaching sound levels of over 236 dB.
Tiger Pistol Shrimp: 200 dB
The tiny tiger pistol shrimp is one of the animals that produce the loudest sounds in the world. The shock waves it generates are louder than a gunshot and can kill rivals located as far as 2 m away.
What this little shrimp does is it creates shock waves with its large claw. It shoots out jets of water that create air bubbles which, in turn, implode and give out a sonic snap.
It’s impressive to think that such a tiny creature can be capable of generating the loudest animal sound. But measurements show that the pistol shrimp’s snap can reach sound levels of over 200 dB.
Bulldog Bat: 140 dB
Bats are one of the few mammals in the animal kingdom that use echolocation to navigate and track the movement of their prey. Bulldog bats are one of the largest species of bats and can generate exceptionally loud sounds.
The ultrasonic sounds they generate, which are outside the human hearing range, are measured at over 140 dB.
Green Grocer Cicada: 135 dB
The loudest insect in the world is the cicada. In fact, it is only male cicadas that are loud, and they sing to attract females. They do so using a musical drum located in their abdomen known as a tymbal.
Among the different cicada species, the green grocer is capable of producing sounds louder than 120 dB. This makes green grocer cicadas the loudest sound-producing insects in the world.
Kakapo: 132 dB
The kakapo is a member of the parrot family. They are quite large and do not fly.
A male kakapo’s mating call can reach sound levels of over 132 dB. It can be heard from over 7 km away thanks to the noise produced by its thoracic air sac mingled with high-pitched metallic calls.
What Is the Loudest Animal Sound Ever Measured?
The loudest animal sound ever measured in decibels is the sperm whale (230 dB). However, the loudest animal ever to be recorded is the lesser water boatman. It is a minuscule insect that can generate mating calls as loud as 99.2 dB.
Although this sound level is not impressive on its own, scientists have determined that the lesser water boatman is the loudest animal on Earth relative to its body size.
When you put things in perspective, you’d expect one of the largest animals on Earth - the sperm whale to be capable of producing sounds as loud as 230 dB. But when you consider that the tiny water boatman is just a little insect, it becomes remarkable that it is capable of producing sounds as loud as 99.2 dB.
Can the Loudest Animals in The World Damage Your Hearing?
The pain threshold for humans is 120-130 dB and hearing damage or hearing loss can occur if a human is exposed for longer to sound levels over 85 dB.
Damage to hearing and hearing loss will depend on the intensity and duration of a sound.
When it comes to the sounds emitted by the loudest animals on Earth, it all boils down to how these sounds are perceived by the human ear. Although some animal sounds may be very loud, if they are on a frequency that is unperceived by the human ear, they will not damage your hearing.
How to Generate Such A Powerful Noise?
It may be tempting to try to recreate such powerful noises. But it cannot realistically be done in normal circumstances.
Scientists work on recreating animal sounds in specialized sound laboratories. Based on scientific facts and data, they are even working on reproducing the sounds made by dinosaurs or mammoths.
The Simplest Way to Measure the Noise of an Animal
If you are curious to check the level of sound produced by your pet or the animals you visit in the zoo, you can use a sound level meter.
The sound level meter is a hand-held professional device that records the pressure of sound waves. Its external microphone captures changes in air pressure and allows the meter to provide readings in decibels (dB).
You can also use phone apps that function as a sound level meter.
The Decibel Pro app is an iPhone app that measures sound and noise levels. It has an intuitive design and numerous sound-related features you can use to measure the noise produced by an animal.
To learn more about various uses of the Decibel app click here.