Bubbly sounds

Bubbly sounds

Can you guess what this is?

Do you know what this is?

Bokke by Scienceline

Go on, listen again! Any idea? The answer is after the picture - which might give you a clue.

Mud pool_89907113

That sound is a mud pool! That mud pool is in Akan National Park, Japan. Mud pools are often called "bokke," which means "boiling" in Ainu, the language of the Ainu people who live near Akan National Park.

When water seeps down from the surface of the earth, it eventually gets to the bottom of the crust - the outer layer of the Earth's surface. When there's magma - very hot molten rock - hanging out close to that crust the water gets very hot.

Hot things rise, so the water rises up through volcanic vents, along with steam.In mudpots, hydrogen sulfide rises too, which combines with the water to make sulfuric acid. When that sulfuric acid meets the surface rock - what do you get? Mud! Bubbling mud, in fact.

How mud pools are formed

How mud pools are formed

Mudpots are often really smelly. The sulfuric acid that meets the surface and makes the mud smells like rotten eggs. Ew!

Some of the most famous mudpots are in Yellowstone National Park.  The park website has some recordings of them, if you just can't get enough of the bubbly stuff.

Sound recorded by snotch on freesound.

This article was written by Rose Eveleth and is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.