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Bug With "Singing Penis" Is World's Loudest 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the animal-idol dept.
sciencehabit writes "The world's loudest animal relative to its size has been revealed to be a tiny bug with a big organ. The water boatman, Micronecta scholtzi, rattles its penis along grooves in its abdomen to produce a chattering song—that registers at 99.2 decibels—about the volume of a loud orchestra heard from the front row. Even though the water boatman does its 'singing' from the bottom of rivers to attract mates, humans walking along the riverbank can clearly hear it. The area along its abdomen that the bug uses to make the noise is only about the width of a human hair, and researchers aren't sure exactly how it produces so loud a song."
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Bug With "Singing Penis" Is World's Loudest

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  • I wonder if it takes requests.

  • What a dick.

    What a knob.

    What a todger.

    What a ...

    Cheers,

  • "Honey, let's make beautiful music together... I'm tired of making it on my own!"
  • The area along its abdomen that the bug uses to make the noise is only about the width of a human hair, and researchers aren't sure exactly how it produces so loud a song

    It's probably -because- it's only the width of a hair that the bug makes such loud noises. If mine were the size of a hair, I'd probably be pretty upset and yell pretty loudly too.

    • . If mine were the size of a hair, I'd probably be pretty upset and yell pretty loudly too.

      Not if you were the size of this critter. Then your dick would be as long as your leg. :P

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:16PM (#36637642) Homepage Journal

    Micronecta scholtzi are freshwater insects measuring just 2mm that are common across Europe. ...
    On average, the songs of M. scholtzi reached 78.9 decibels, comparable to a passing freight train. ...
    "If you scale the sound level they produce against their body size, Micronecta scholtzi are the loudest animals on Earth," said Dr Windmill. ...
    To produce the intense sound, the water boatmen "stridulate" by rubbing a ridge on their penis across the ridged surface of their abdomen. ...
    "Males try to compete to have access to females and then try to produce a song as loud as possible potentially scrambling the song of competitors." ...
    What makes M. scholtzi extraordinary is that the area they use to create sound only measures about 50 micrometres across, roughly the width of a human hair. ...

    btw, here is the picture of the little bugger. [wikipedia.org]

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      "stridulate"

      Vocabulary word of the day.

      "Stridulation". I like it.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        That's when you use the loudest loudspeaker that there is (tweeter in this case,) and send a picture of an erection to various females, hoping for ... well, something.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          (tweeter in this case,)

          Mine is more like a woofer, if you catch my drift.

          and send a picture of an erection to various females, hoping for ... well, something.

          It could have been worse. Something like "2 Congressmen, 1 Cup".

      • Proper vocabulary lists should always be accompanied with example usage, eg

        "Hey, PopeRatzo, don't stridulate so much, or your voice will get louder."

    • by EdIII (1114411)

      What I find really curious here is there anything we can learn from this?

      For instance, Velcro was invented by investigating a rather simple phenomenon in nature and then using material sciences to recreate it.

      These seem to be extremely small areas measured in millimeters and the actual effective area in micrometers. Could we learn from this to create sound producing products that can produce extremely loud sounds yet be hundreds of times smaller than any current technology we have.

      Penis jokes aside, there

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:18PM (#36637660)
    Has slashdot descended so far that news for nerds is now "animal makes noise with its dick"? Really now...
    • by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:25PM (#36637708)

      Isn't that the same as open source news?

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Sounds like a piece of trivia a nerd might tell me.

    • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:37PM (#36637764)
      Well, there are biology nerds. I happen to be one of them. While I don't particularly agree with the presentation of the story, the factoid itself is of interest to me. A weird evolutionary path. Fascinating.
    • by ciaohound (118419)

      Slashdotters might find it inspirational. If a bug can find a use for its penis, there's hope for the rest of us.

      • Slashdotters might find it inspirational. If a bug can find a use for its penis, there's hope for the rest of us.

        The insect in question is using it's penis to procreate. Just like the rest of the animal kingdom

        Your turn...

    • by ammorais (1585589)

      It's not about the dick. It's about the size.
      For sure the title should be something in this lines: "2mm Bug Is World's Loudest".
      Even though, how can't you find this story interesting to nerds. Imagine the possibilities.
      If a 2mm bug can do a 99.2 decibels sound, so can your ipod/notepad/phone/pad/[whatever future small] device.

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        Except than that future small device would only produce one note repetitively. I don't know if your average pop listener would even notice however.

    • Has slashdot descended so far that news for nerds is now "animal makes noise with its dick"? Really now...

      I can't think of anything more nerdy than science (which this is). It just happens to also be highly amusing. Not to mention the last line of TFS is intriguing, and could really matter: what if you could one day buy a speaker no bigger than your fingernail, but it could fill a room?

      What, would you rather see the latest bullshit about pop-star-drama-du-jour? Or how about what the next color iThing will b

  • The area along its abdomen that the bug uses to make the noise is only about the width of a human hair, and researchers aren't sure exactly how it produces so loud a song.

    A horny bug, it will make it work.

    It has to.

  • by Chas (5144) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:19PM (#36637664) Homepage Journal

    {Son} Dad? What're those bugs singing for?
    {Dad} They're rap fans.
    {Son} Huh?
    {Dad} 2 Live Crew fans actually.
    {Son} 2 Live WHO? Dad? What're the damn bugs singin' about?
    {Dad} Their song is the bug version of "We Want Some Pussy"
    {Son} Oh.

  • Phallus jokes aside. It would be great to understand how this works. We've somewhat recently started looking more closely at the notion of acoustic levitation [livescience.com] for solving all manner of problems. Particularly containerless manufacturing. It's been suggested based upon various ancient texts that this may well have been the means by which so many of these massive megaliths far exceeding modern engineering capabilities were transported and placed. The ability for something so small to produce such a relati
    • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:38PM (#36637778)

      While acoustic levitation is certainly an interesting phenomenon, I wouldn't get too confused about ancient monuments and ancient texts -- basic applied physics is all we need to understand how to move multi-ton blocks of stone with nothing but manpower.

      By way of reference, have a look at Wally Wallington's website [theforgott...nology.com] -- not joking, the guy shows some very convincing demonstrations of how a single human can move 20-ton chunks of concrete (concrete being easier to obtain than stone, but functionally similar).

      Cheers,

    • by mark_reh (2015546)

      It's also been suggested (and believed by many with soft minds) that ancient aliens built the pyramids.

      Video or it didn't happen.

      • Well, I do have all 10 seasons of SG1, as well as both of the movies, and the original movie that launched it all on DVD....

        (which, sadly, is probably proof for some people....)

    • I'm all for exploring the science, but I think it is silly to elude ourselves into thinking that ancient megaliths were erected using technology that we are only currently beginning to understand. It is much more reasonable to attribute the construction of those structures with a basic understanding of geometry and a shitload of slaves and time.
    • by Tasha26 (1613349)
      You mean like in X-Men: First Class... the flying-levitation scene in the movie did not impress me at all. I think the US Army will adapt the findings to manufacture crowd control sonic guns.
    • Where on earth did you get the idea that the megaliths and pyramids are beyond modern engineering? They're beyond the engineering that we presumed people in that era had, and they're beyond the engineering we were using until about the renaissance, but we could quite easily build the pyramids or the sphynx or stonehenge again using modern engineering and construction methods.

      A great deal of knowledge was lost when the Roman empire collapsed, but most of it has been rediscovered and surpassed a long time ago

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        We could build pyramids but it would be fucking expensive. I guess that's why the pharaohs built the things though.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      Phallus jokes aside. It would be great to understand how this works. We've somewhat recently started looking more closely at the notion of acoustic levitation [livescience.com] for solving all manner of problems. Particularly containerless manufacturing. It's been suggested based upon various ancient texts that this may well have been the means by which so many of these massive megaliths far exceeding modern engineering capabilities were transported and placed. The ability for something so small to produce such a relatively massive acoustic pressure definitely helps bolster the case.

      The bug does not use wings. It props itself up on three legs (a tripod), points its propulsion unit at the ground, and levitates.

  • At what distance? (Score:4, Informative)

    by l00sr (266426) on Friday July 01, 2011 @05:40PM (#36637798)

    Decibel figures are meaningless without knowing the distance of the observer to the bug's penis. For all we know, the scientist jammed the bug's willy into his/her ear, in which case the sound could obviously be perceived much louder than an orchestra from the front row!

    • If I could get a million dollar grant i would stick a bug penis in my ear.
    • Decibel figures are meaningless without knowing the distance of the observer to the bug's penis. For all we know, the scientist jammed the bug's willy into his/her ear , in which case the sound could obviously be perceived much louder than an orchestra from the front row!

      Pics or it didn't happen.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "No".

      The original story is from the EU. There, the reference sound pressure for auditory "decibels" is typically 20 micropascals, originally measured as "the softest sound you can actually hear".

      "Distance" is irrelevant. Putting the microphone at the source of the sound is a legitimate way to measuer the maximum loudness, loudness is measured in auditory pressure, not power devlivered. A larger sound source would deliver more overall energy to the environment, and due to more planar propagation is likely to

      • by qwak23 (1862090)
        Actually distance is very relevant to sound measurements, including a measurement at the "source" (typically SPL levels are measured/given 1 meter or 1 yard from the source depending on your geographic location.). The article does not mention where the measured values are occuring, which makes them fairly useless for any calculations regarding sound propagation.
    • by houghi (78078)

      Also decibel is logarithmic and size is not. Not sure if they calculated that as well. The blue whale produces 188dB.

    • Yes, I think that comparison is way off. An orchestra submerged on the bottom of a river would likely not produce any sound hearable from the river bank. And neither would a freight train.
  • Given the proportion of prong to bug, that noise you're hearing is sheer pride.
  • ... Dude, don't listen to my junk.
  • i wish my penis could sing
  • by walmass (67905)
    I think they made a mistake with the name, it should be Meganecta Schlongi.
  • The pink conch has a penis half its body length and mates for hours. When it is having sex eels and lobsters may eat it's dick but no problem--it will grow a new one in a few months
  • It's a feature. :)
  • For a moment I thought I was in reddit. I'm looking for any connection in this article to a technical subject, any, well, I guess I'm losing my sense of humor.
  • 99.2 decibels! (Score:2, Redundant)

    by blair1q (305137)

    That's nothing.

    I once knew a Congressman whose penis was so loud that just one tweet from it echoed for weeks until it made his career explode...

  • Because if you rattled your penis that way, you'd scream just a loud as a Boat, man.
  • How about studying the bug to figure out how to use the effect to make super effective speakers and sound equipment? That makes a lot more sense than the endless jokes about penises, what, are you all sexually repressed teenagers or something?

  • It's whether or not you can hit all the notes in the right order... Sheesh.
  • I think it's a lot more likely that the penis isn't making the noise at all. Yes, it's doing what they say it's doing, but the noise actually comes from the bug's screaming, either in sheer ecstasy or excruciating pain.

  • 'Bug With "Singing Penis" Is World's Loudest'

    Assuming the article subject is grammatically correct, this must be the world's loudest bug. Given the propensity for phrase structure errors on this site, however, I am left wondering if this is the world's loudest bug, or the world's loudest singing penis.

  • To say that your penis makes enough noise to equal an orchestra from the front row, I can just imagine what the female vagina of that species is capable of...

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