10 Animals That Are Insanely Loud

In this article, we’re bringing you 10 animals that are insanely loud.

10. Wolves - 90 Decibels

Image: Barnaby_S

A wolf’s howl will never fail to send a shiver down your spine-- especially if you hear an entire pack of them howling. Their distinct call can reach up to a deafening 90 decibels, which are just a tiny bit lower in volume than the blare of a subway train. Wolves howling is also unique because when several howl in unison, the sound is manipulated so that it seems the pack is much bigger than it really is. Wolves need that exceptionally loud howl to keep track of each other as they are known to travel across long distances. Howls can also sound when establishing ranking and territory.

9. Oilbird - 100 Decibels

Image: Doug Greenberg 

One of the loudest creatures on earth is the tiny oilbird. If you happen to find yourself exploring a dark cave in a neotropical rainforest in South America, you may hear what sounds like a symphony of deafening demonic screeches, growls, and snarls. It’s not a demon, but probably a lot of oilbirds coming home to roost. They use echolocation to navigate their dark homes. Unlike bats, who are also ear-splittingly loud, oilbirds’ 100 decibels loud sounds can be picked up by human hearing-- which can seem like it’s deafening. Believe it or not, but when these nocturnal birds come out to forage during the night, they’re entirely silent and travel with unparalleled stealth.

8. Lions - 114 Decibels

Image: Leszek Leszczynski

Everyone is familiar with the chilling roar a lion sounds, if only for the famous MGM opening credits with Leo the Lion roaring about the start of a movie. Reaching up to an unnerving level of 114 decibels, a lions’ ferocious roar can be heard up to five miles. Lion roars need to be that ferocious and loud; otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to establish their dominance and territory when feuding with other lions. They also need it to communicate as prides’ territory can stretch over 260 square kilometers. Before we move on to the next incredibly loud animal, this is the point where animals are so loud it’s actually dangerous to hear them in close range. See, human speech clocks in at about 25 to 35 decibels. Exposure to noise over 85 decibels for a long time can result in hearing loss. The pain threshold is when the noise is 120 to 130 decibels. So before we continue with the loudest insect in the world that clocks in at the start of humans’ pain threshold for noise, just hit the like button to fully support us!

7. Cicadas - 120 Decibels

Image: pontla

If we’re talking about sounds compared to proportions, then cicadas are probably the loudest creature in the world. They are the world’s loudest insects. However, only the males are able to sound their unearthly noise, which can be produced at a level of 120 decibels. A cicada’s call can be heard from a distance of 2.4 km away. The reason why they’re so loud despite their tiny size is because cicadas uniquely have musical drums called tymbals located in their abdomen. To call for females, they contract their internal muscles and produce a pulse of sound that’s amplified by their hollow abdomen. That sound is further amplified when several cicadas call out at once, which is part of their strategy to avoid being eaten by birds.

6. Howler Monkeys - 140 Decibels

Image: Anita Gould

If a male howler monkey spots another competing male, both will try to scream as loud as they can, which is a nearly deafening encounter for any unlucky bystanders. Howler monkeys have chilling screams that can reach up to a whopping 140 decibels. One of the loudest animals in the noisy animal kingdom, every morning, they may gather around and scream to their hearts’ content, warning away predators. They may also sound their howl when there is danger as a way to sound an alarm, or they do it to attract females. This call can be heard from a distance of 1.75 miles away.

5. Greater Bulldog Bat - 140 Decibels

Image: B

Humans have a hearing range of between 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz. Greater Bulldog Bats? Their ultrasonic calls range from 20 to 200 kilohertz. Their unusually loud call exceeded 140 decibels. If the human hearing range can hear it, it will sound louder than a chainsaw. They use it to navigate their surroundings, which is a technique called echolocation. Most often, they’ll make their unique screech in order to track fish in water pools.

4. Kakapos - 140 Decibels

Image: Jake Osborne

The loudest birds in the world are kakapos. The ear-splitting noise they make is actually called “booming.” This booming noise is how males sound their mating calls to attract females. The noise can travel up to 7 kilometers and reach up to anywhere from 132 to 140 decibels. High-pitched metallic calls usually intercept the booming noise, both working to locate a mate.

3. Blue Whales - 188 Decibels

Image: NOAA Photo Library

A blue whale is louder than a volcano erupting. The Krakatoa eruption in 1883, which launched 25 cubic kilometers of rock and ash into the air, was registered at 180 decibels. It was heard all the way to Australia. Blue whales? They’re registered at 188 decibels. Blue whales are one of the planet’s largest animals, reaching up to 33 meters long and weighing up to a whopping 200 tons heavy. Even their tongues can be as heavy as elephants. But somehow, it comes across as a surprise to hear a blue whale’s sound. You can hear it traveling underwater and over 800 kilometers away, meaning it can reach up to 188 decibels. And it’s not just one sound. Blue whales emit their rumbling sounds repetitively as a way to communicate with other blue whales and to find mates.

2. Tiger Pistol Shrimp

Image: Pawar Pooja

Imagine a tiny shrimp making a sound that’s louder than a gunshot. The aptly-named tiger pistol shrimp can be found all over the world in tropical reefs. How they make their unusual noise, which is louder than even a whale’s call, is incredibly unique. Pistol shrimps use their large claws to shoot out jets of water. The water then travels with such velocity that an air bubble is created. When it implodes, it’s so loud that it sends a shock wave. It’s so loud that it can kill other fish up to two meters away. The heat inside the bubble can also reach temperatures similar to the sun’s.

1. Sperm Whale - 233 Decibels

Image: piqsels

Clocking in at a deafening-- and deadly-- 233 decibels, sperm whales are the loudest animals in the entire world. They are so loud that their clicks can literally vibrate you to death. No one believed early whalers' reports of hearing a hammer-like sound when they caught a sperm whale. Now, after numerous studies, they have that description to be accurate. To be even more accurate, sperm whale clicks have been described as louder than a jet engine at take-off. However, that noise clocks in at 188 decibels, meaning that the massive animal is even louder. A human in close range can have their eardrums split and their bodies literally vibrate to an unpleasant death.

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