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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Water Boatman Sings with Its Wang

Scientists have determined that the tiny water boatman insect (Micronecta scholtzi) is the loudest animal on earth -- and it makes its ultra-loud noise with its penis!

The water boatman, measuring a mere 2mm or so, makes its noise by stridulation -- which simply means rubbing one body part against another to create a sound. In the case of the tiny water boatman, the noise is made by rubbing its penis against its ridged abdomen. The sound measures in at a whopping 78.9dB, which is approximately as loud as a passing freight train! While the stridulation of the water boatman is audible to human ears, 99% of the sound is lost in the transference from water to air, as the water boatman spends its time underwater.

Most of the loudest animals are also the largest, including the blue whale and the elephant, but when the water boatman's body size is taken into account, it is the loudest creature on the planet.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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