Cymascope CymaGlyphs - Dolphin Picture Words

CymaGlyphs are pictures of what dolpohins see in echolocation. The technique for capturing these pictures with a CymaScope was pioneered by researchers in the US and Britain.


(CymaScope can visualize cross-sections of dolphin echolocation beam)

English acoustics engineer, John Stuart Reid, and Florida-based dolphin researcher, Jack Kassewitz, has been able to image the "imprint" that a dolphin sound makes in water. It is hoped that these images could form the basis for a lexicon of dolphin language.

"Whenever sound bubbles or beams interact with a membrane, the sound vibrations imprint onto its surface and form a CymaGlyph, a repeatable pattern of energy. The CymaScope employs the surface tension of water as a membrane because water reacts quickly and is able to reveal intricate architectures within the sound form. These fine details can be captured on camera."


(CymaGlyphs are a picture of the cross-section)

By recording dolphins as they echolocate on various objects, and also as they communicate with other dolphins about those objects, we will build a library of dolphin sounds, verifying that the same sound is always repeated for the same object. The CymaScope will be used to image the sounds so that each CymaGlyph will represent a dolphin 'picture word'. Our ultimate aim is to speak to dolphins with a basic vocabulary of dolphin sounds and to understand their responses. This is uncharted territory but it looks very promising."

For those who are still waiting for first contact, this could be an important breakthrough in communication with an intelligent species that inhabits our own planet.

From Reuters.

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