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Debbie Center, YouTube

Have You Seen This? Frozen lake sounds like 'Star Wars' blaster

By Mary Dalrymple,  |  Posted Dec 14th, 2017 @ 1:15pm



NEVIS, Minn. — I'm not saying the lake in today's video is a bigger "Star Wars" fan than you, I'm just saying even lakes can get excited about Jedis and lightsabers.

Just kidding. They obviously can't. Regardless, nature is fun and creepy and mysterious, and every once in a while, it's just as cool as watching a "Star Wars" movie.

Minnesota woman Debbie Center captured one of those instances Sunday in this video when a lake in Nevis started making some unusual noises. "Laser sounds and drumming" is how Center described the noises, but I'm going to go ahead and say it sounds more like a group of stormtroopers is having target practice right under that thick layer of ice.

So what causes this phenomenon? After a little bit of research, I came across this video from NPR, which is pretty fascinating all on its own.

The video explains that the sounds that seem more fitting for a sci-fi movie battle scene than a peaceful frozen lake are a result of something called "acoustic dispersion." It's all a lot of physics talk, but you've probably experienced acoustic dispersion yourself if you've ever thrown a rock at a frozen lake and listened as the warped echo reverberated all around.

Acoustic dispersion can also be caused by ice expanding and contracting, according to NPR, and it seems likely that this is what causes the "Star Wars" sound effects in Center's video. A bonus fun fact from NPR is that the creators of the original "Star Wars" films sort of based the sound effects for the blaster guns on this very phenomenon.

Yesterday's Have You Seen This?

Both of these videos are pretty fascinating, and whether you're a "Star Wars" fan, a nature-lover, a physics nerd or just simply love really cool stuff, I think you'll enjoy either one. You may even learn something. And if you're really just on the internet today for all the "Star Wars" content you can possibly consume, head over here to read our review of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

Mary Dalrymple,
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