Professor Steve Simpson, assisted by sound engineers from the legendary Abbey Road Studios and staff from the London Aquarium, has revealed one way in which fish communicate with each other, recording sounds they make using a special hydrophone designed to capture sound waves underwater.
"What we discovered is truly fascinating and highlights how fish are using sound to communicate to one another in an aquarium environment, just like in more natural habitats," Simpson said.
After recording sounds made by some 300 fish at the London Aquarium, Simpson found that clownfish, crayfish, triggerfish and seahorses communicate with each other by making noises that, to human ears, sound like gurgles, clicks and croaks.
From purring Clownfish to hooting Crayfish, it was an enlightening experience to record fish communicating through sound for the first time @london_aquarium w/@DrSteveSimpson. Such a privilege to master the tracks @AbbeyRoad #boyhooddream pic.twitter.com/NYP72TsrzK— Andrew C. Boocock (@ACBoocock) December 20, 2019
Simpson said that marine creatures “crack and purr” for many purposes, including asserting individual dominance in a group, defending territory, warning against predators and during courtship.
“No-one expected to hear a school of clownfish croak or a crayfish hoot like a trumpet – it's truly amazing. Thanks to Professor Simpson and Abbey Road Studios we can now listen to our fish for the very first time and teach our guests just how important sound is to the ocean,” said James Wright, Display Curator at SEA LIFE London Aquarium.
Abbey Road sound engineer Andrew Walker sonically sculpted the fish recordings by filtering unwanted surrounding noise from the original audio and mixing it with the classic song “Jingle Bells”, turning it into an amusing festive Christmas soundscape.
“I never imagined having spent 30 years mastering music at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios that I would be remastering the hidden orchestra of fish sounds into a festive Jingle Bells track,” the sound engineer said.