Sharing the Same Space
I heard an NPR online story about the increase of underwater noise and its effect on sea animals. The reporter submerged a microphone deep in the water off Point Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost point in the United States. On the recording, it is possible to hear all kinds of animals calling to one another — and in the words of the old Neil Diamond song, it’s a beautiful noise. Then the midst of this there are sounds of large ships passing, with the engines thump-thump-thumping. Before big shipping, whales were supposedly able to call to one another across an entire ocean, which I find pretty incredible — my husband often doesn’t hear what I’m saying when he’s on the other side of the room. The other day, our neighbors were power washing their house. It didn’t last long, the houses aren’t close and they certainly have a right to do that — yet the noise was grating and I found myself becoming irritable. On land or under the sea, we all share the same space.