Coral Reefs Could Soon Fall Silent As Ocean Acidification Ravages Ecosystems
Doug E. Fresh may have some competition in the beatboxing arena from unlikely source. It’s not from some underground phenom but rather an underwater rising star, or well, fish.
Take a listen to this beat laid down by a croaker fish off the coast of Indonesia. A rhythmic thumping provides the beat for an otherwise ambient ocean noise track.
“This one has just stuck with me,” said Julius Piercy, a PhD candidate studying underwater acoustics at the University of Essex, who discovered this particular virtuoso.
Piercy has been recording the sounds of fish and crustaceans at tropical coral reefs around the world. The thumps, whistles, grunts and snaps of those reef inhabitants are more than just fodder for multi-platinum recordings. They give Piercy and other marine scientists a snapshot of reef health and biodiversity that can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional reef monitoring.
Piercy’s recent research shows that the future ocean may be a lot quieter than our current if overfishing and ocean acidification continue to take a toll on the reefs that support the symphony of life.