7 Bizarre Sounds From Outer Space
In space, nobody can hear you scream. Oh, not because sound doesn't exist there; you'd just get drowned out by the goddamn racket all that stoic-looking cosmic stuff is making. Sure, from the ground it looks all quiet and peaceful, but if you've got the right equipment to hear it, it's like the hallway of a college dorm up there, but without all the used condoms and crying teenage girls. Well, until Richard Branson finishes building his spaceship, anyway.
My god, is that...it is! The voice of the sun itself! O, giver of life, singer of the cosmic song: Your gentle embrace warms our flesh and grants us the universe's most precious gift. It sounds just like you'd imagine it, doesn't it? That gentle pulsing; it's so beautiful and serene, like the pumping of some gargantuan organ.
Yep, nice and relaxing, like a giant, beating heart. A giant, beating, extraterrestrial heart.
Made out of nuclear fire.
As a direct counterpoint to the passive throbbing of gargantuan fiery skyballs, here we have the sound of the Earth as recorded by our farthest satellites. Whereas the sun emits a womb-like tidal rhythm, the Earth - with that sinister bass and long, keening build-up - sounds more like the Deathstar charging up to fire. Seriously, those are trademark death-ray sound effects.
That's the real reason orbital paths grow increasingly large as you go farther out. It has nothing to do with physics; the other planets are just fucking terrified.
To be perfectly frank with you, this whole track is somewhat suspect. I can find no verifiable source that confirms it's actually from space -- let alone the work of aliens -- but after listening to it, I believe it. Let me explain why: It is the nature of all advanced civilizations, as they grow more liberated and removed from work, to become bored and jaded. Every truly advanced society, from the Romans to the Victorians to modern-day America suffers from this societal ennui. It takes more to get us excited for anything, but this especially manifests itself in sex.
Listen to about thirty five seconds in. Do you hear that? That, friends, is a hyper-intelligent being from beyond the stars...furiously masturbating. And that's why I say it has to be real: Only a civilization millennia ahead of us in both technical know-how and sexual depravity would beam recordings of themselves jerking off to far-flung planets light years away. This is Alien Chatroulette.
It's not just the stationary objects and pervert extraterrestrials that rock out with their metaphorical cocks out. All space phenomena make sounds of some kind. Black holes, for example:
You can be forgiven for thinking this is fairly boring compared to the Sun or the Earth or Alien Dickrolling, but if you listen real closely, you can just hear some distant, muffled noises -- like old-timey sci-fi rayguns firing. But before you go imagining there's some epic sci-fi battle caught in a time-loop at the heart of it, know that it's far more likely that the black hole is just making cool raygun noises with its mouth to keep itself entertained. Because everybody knows black holes are the loveable retards of deep space phenomena.
They are, after all, super dense.
Ah, finally! Jupiter delivers what we've been expecting from space all this time: Calm, soothing, generic new-agey crap. Somewhere, a man with a salt and pepper ponytail, a hemp vest and coke bottle glasses is falling asleep to this at this very moment. He will awaken in nine and a half hours, to tell his non-gender-specific life-partner Moonfry all about the lucid dream he's just had, where he was being birthed by mother Jupiter into the starry amniotic fluid of the very cosmos. They will then carpool their Zapcar to the local co-op, try to merge onto the highway at top speed (thirty five miles an hour) and, because he's too busy reflecting on the inky placenta of space-birth to focus on the road, they will both be crushed to death by a Foster Farms delivery truck. It will say 'All Natural' on the side.
Tragically, they will not be able to appreciate the irony.
And Jupiter, having claimed another life, will laugh.
Well, damn. Sure, all of these 'space songs' are kind of interesting, but it all sounds basically the same, doesn't it? Every planet is just another variation of the same basic sound-palette, which is that of a 1989 Casio Synthesizer set to play Marimba and dropped in the pool. You probably feel like you're about to nod off right now. And you know what? Fuck it. I got your page view. You go ahead, close your eyes, relax your core muscles, fast forward to 1:15 in, and drift off to the soothing sounds of Saturn:
Congratulations! Having dropped your psychic defenses before listening to that, your mind has now become home to the ravenous and furious ghosts of a long dead planet! Expect to scrawl mysterious runes across your cubicle walls for the rest of the afternoon, explode every electronic device you touch on your way home, and vomit magenta energy plasma across your significant other's screaming used-to-be-face when you go to make love tonight.
But hey, on the plus side: From now on, if somebody asks you what the scariest shit you've ever heard is, you can smile and state, matter-of-factly: "Saturn." When they blink at you in confusion, you can satisfy their curiosity by bringing up that video file and then voila! There's yet another mind ravaged by the screeching spirits of a murder planet. Because the only thing worse than being the mind-hive for a continent of spectral sociopaths, is being the only mind-hive for a continent of spectral sociopaths.
Nobody likes to be lonely.
If you enjoy my stupid little columns every week, or you have any affection for me as a person, or even if you're new here and you only have an iota of temporary good-will toward this author in gratitude for a few laughs and the cool space shit, I only want one thing from you in return. I will not ask you to Stumble this, to Facebook it, to retweet it, to try and wedge it in between the endless LOLNarwhals of Reddit -- I won't even ask you to venture into the barren, forsaken wasteland that used to be Digg and hurl it into the howling maw of Kevin Rose -- just promise me one tiny little thing. Promise me you'll read this next sentence out loud:
And now, here are the sounds Uranus makes:
Yes, that was the entire reason I wrote this.
No, I regret nothing.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or find him on Twitter and Facebook. Or you can download an audio mixer, splice all of these together into a song, get it played on the radio and inadvertently call down Galactus: Devourer of Worlds! That sounds hard, though. Buying the book seems way easier.