Which animal has the loudest sound?

The loudest animal in the world

Often we have enough of the noise in the city or the high noise level of everyday life. A rattling lawnmower causes around 70 decibels, the honking car driver in a traffic jam in the morning around 90 decibels - and a passing ambulance with a siren emits up to 120 decibels of noise. If you stand next to a jet jet taking off on the tarmac, you would have to endure more than 130 decibels. A volume that is already classified as harmful.

We are confronted with permanent, strong background noise in our private everyday life, sometimes even in the professional environment. In contrast to another living environment, this is comparatively nothing. It gets even louder under water: Since water has a higher density, sound waves cannot move as quickly here and thus reach a higher volume. That is probably also the reason why the three loudest animals in the world live underwater.


The pistol crab, which is just 5 cm tall, can generate a bang that is more than 220 decibels - making it the loudest animal in the world! The small, shrimp-like creature lives mainly in tropical and subtropical waters and is known for its claws, its “weapons”. These tools, vital for him, work like a revolver. He claws his prey with the left scissors, on the right he unlocks his "revolver" and shoots. His scissors snap shut in less than a millisecond. He creates a pressure wave with bubbles that are as hot as the sun (4,700 degrees) - and suddenly puts his victims out of action.

The sperm whale is considered to be the screaming neck of the ocean and is the second loudest animal on our planet with calls of up to 200 decibels. He uses clicks to communicate. The tones serve firstly for communication with conspecifics, but secondly also for echolocation, i.e. to track down potential prey. The sperm whale sends clicks, waits for an echo and thus recognizes where its potential prey is. On average it gives one to two clicks per second, but if it has located a “victim” - for example an octopus - it can be up to 200 clicks per second.


The third loudest animal on earth also belongs to the genus of whales. With its size, the blue whale is not only the heaviest and largest creature on earth, but can also be considerably loud. Its blue whale singing is up to 188 decibels loud - and can be heard even 850km away!

Incidentally, the blue whale also has extremely good hearing, which can reach a distance of up to 1,600 km.

Noise outside the human frequency range

160 decibels are already harmful to the human eardrum. Then why don't we become deaf to the shrill sounds of these animals? The reason: Because of the different frequencies we humans cannot even hear most animal sounds. We hear noises on frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. For example, we will never hear the elephants' “secret language”. They are talking to each other at a frequency of just 20 Hertz, using infrasound sounds. Even the call of the bat will probably never be heard in all its fullness - no wonder with a frequency of up to 100,000 Hertz. Although the sense of hearing of some animals far exceeds that of humans, this deficit is reciprocal: Many animals do not register sounds that we humans can hear well.

If you would like further information on the subject of tinnitus or have specific questions, you can also call our trained hearing aid acousticians for advice. We would be happy to advise you, free of charge and without obligation.

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