The Loudest Animal Is Not Always The Largest Animal
I’ll start this out with a spoiler alert for you: The loudest animal in the world is the blue whale. Its calls can be heard up to 160 km away and measure up to 188 decibels. So is the sperm whale the loudest animal on earth? Technically no.
However, when you’re talking about the technicalities behind the ‘loudest animal in the world’, you need to consider size in relation to noise, as well as a few other factors.
Because of this, the blue whale may be the ‘loudest’ animal on the planet. However, the pistol shrimp, with its super high frequency snap of its claws, registers 190 decibels… and it only weighs about 50 grams.
The sound, however, can only be heard within a few centimetres, which renders it lower on the noise scale.
You can see how the question ‘what’s the loudest animal’ has a lot more detail than you may have thought!
Is The Sperm Whale The Loudest Animal On Earth?
While blue whales are both the loudest and the largest animals, the sperm whale is louder in terms of pure decibels. Its clicks are measured at an incredible 230 decibels. These clicks, however, last for very short bursts and are often out of the range of human ears.
Again, depending on which technicalities you’re observing, the sperm whale could be considered the loudest animal on Earth.
4 Other Loud Animals (And Some That May Suprise You)
Tiger Pistol Shrimp: 200 decibels
The pistol shrimp, also known as the snapping shrimp, stun their prey with sound. And their sound is no joke. But here’s the real kicker: their sound is generated by closing their large claws at a speed of nearly 100km per hour!
The action of their claws forms a giant air bubble which then makes a huge snapping sound when it pops. Why this bubble makes a louder sound than any other bubble, I’m not sure.
Blue Whale: 188 decibels
As we discussed above, the blue whale has a loud sound to go with its huge size.
The call of a blue whale is louder than a roaring jet engine, and sounds like a pulse, a groan, and a moan. It can also be heard up to 160km away, which is part of what makes it the loudest animal on Earth.
Greater Bulldog Bat: 140 decibels
This adorable creature utilizes “echolocation”, which helps them navigate and forage for food. These high pitched calls and echoes only travel a short distance, but the bats with higher-frequency calls cover greater distances with their louder cries.
There’s a greater bulldog bat and a “regular” bulldog bat, and they reached 140 decibels and 137 decibels with their cries, respectively. That’s a loud bat.
Howler Monkey: 140 decibels
The largest of all the New World monkeys, the howler monkey got its name for a solid reason. When a few howlers get together and start making their noise, they can be heard nearly three miles away!
The call is mostly to make other monkeys stay away. The male monkeys have large throats and even shell-shaped vocal chambers. Because of this, they have the ideal anatomy for making and projecting sound.
Bonus Bug: African Cicadas: 107 decibels
Quick fact: The African Cicada is the loudest insect in the world! Its loudest song is close to 107 decibels and travels about 20 inches. For context, that’s almost as loud as a chainsaw!
Now you can go and impress your friends with your extensive knowledge of all these noisy animals!
Related: What’s the biggest thing in the whole world? Just like the loudest animal… it depends on how you measure it.