In a recent Twitter post, isotope geochemist John Andrew Higgins, who is currently working in Antarctica, shared footage of an interesting experiment involving a borehole and a chunk of ice.
“What does a 9 inch ice core sound like when dropped down a 450 ft hole ?” he wrote. “Like this!”
The sounds produced by the falling ice are undeniably bizarre – resembling something like cartoon lasers or gunshot ricochets repeating over and over followed by a heartbeat-like thudding.
This phenomenon was recorded previously by glaciologist Peter Neff who received over 10 million views for his footage of a piece of ice being dropped down a 295ft borehole.
“The first thing you hear as the ice is falling is the pitch of the sound changing,” he said. “That’s the Doppler effect. Then when the ice hits the bottom of the bore hole, the sound doesn’t only come straight up – the sound waves start to bounce off the sides of the hole.”
“That’s why you hear this ‘pew!’ with sort-of a heartbeat sound afterwards.”
You can check out the sounds for yourself in the video below.