Science

NASA records sounds from space and it’s absolutely terrifying

It’s just as terrifying as any science fiction movie sounds effect you’ve heard.

Contrary to popular belief, sound does exist in space.

To clarify, it’s not sound as we know it (waves pulsing through the air), but electromagnetic waves that pulsate in similar wavelengths as the sound our ears hear.

Instruments on several NASA probes have recorded these waves and transferred them into a sound that translates to the human ear – and it’s just as terrifying as any science fiction movie sound effect you’ve heard.

Listen:

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142 Comments

142 Comments

  1. john

    August 2, 2014 at 3:24 am

    I find it strangely soothing!

  2. The Dude

    August 3, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Terrifying, my ass! This is super cool!

  3. joe giordano

    August 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Beautiful musical

  4. Daniel Raidt

    August 8, 2014 at 1:24 am

    2001: A Space Odyssey had it right way back in 1969 !!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rae Shue Blalack

    August 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    I found these sounds quite beautiful. The Rings if Saturn sounded how I imagined they’d sound. These sounds were anything BUT terrifying.

  6. TimK

    October 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I’m actually strongly reminded of this:

    http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-planets-mw0000706597

  7. Samuel Delany

    October 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Sounds like the wind in the mountains . . .

  8. Matthew R Webb (Danger Pig Art)

    October 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    These are actually quiet different sounding then the older ones NASA has. I think the other sounds came from Voyager a long time ago. They weren’t so harmonic. More annoying and high pitched whistles and static. These are more ambient sounding.

  9. Nelson Montana

    October 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I’m calling bullshit on this article.

  10. dIGIMURDER

    October 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Cool space ambient set, please put name of tracks and artists instead of caption “Rings of urANUS”…etc…

  11. Bill Birtch

    October 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Terrifying? Hardly.

  12. Reefer Man

    October 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I think I’m with you on this one Nelson

  13. nicole

    October 10, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I was falling asleep, I need this at bedtime.

  14. jessinSF

    October 11, 2014 at 5:47 am

    the video technical explanation and the article text conflict.

  15. Lorenzo Matteucci

    October 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I like the Saturn and of the Earth

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  17. possets

    October 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Not scary but pretty predictable.

  18. Finn

    October 12, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Miranda is a Bm9 chord + noise

  19. MGB

    October 13, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Oddly enough, the sound of Earth is the only one that is very soothing… Is that because it is probably the only inhabitable planet we recorded? If we ain’t the only ones out there, then surely they will hear our sweet sweet music only to deal with our bullshit when they settle! 😛

  20. TripleOsc

    October 14, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Haha.. Totally.. One day i wana grow up to be a real Synth

  21. Ineke Blom

    October 15, 2014 at 7:00 am

    You’re so right, MGB

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  23. Bill

    October 18, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Why do you find what to me sounds for the most part white noise terrifying??

  24. Matt

    October 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    That’s what happens when you pay attention to your science. Thanks, Arthur C. Clark!

  25. Gray Hunter

    October 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I dunno…Saturn’s rings sounded a little flat. (badda bing!)

  26. suaraburungs

    October 20, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Wow… amazing

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  28. Missy

    November 4, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    The sounds were pretty cool, but what I want to know is how much money NASA paid to “create” these sounds?

  29. Ebony

    November 5, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I did too, beautiful

  30. jason potter

    November 5, 2014 at 8:18 am

    amazing, the sounds were kinda soothing, i had my eyes closed so i focus on the sound and i started dozing off, not out of boredom but i guess the sounds were just relaxing, except Uranus because that one was kinda scary

  31. Capt. Jimi

    November 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    To quote my ancient youth “Wow & Far Out”.

  32. Sonny

    November 7, 2014 at 1:44 am

    probably not real just added in sound. sounds a lot like wind. wonder how they got this recorder outside of the space shuttle for one. Also ive never heard of a planet called Miranda in our solar system.

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  34. myranda

    November 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    How do you finf this horrific? I’m curious because this is natural?

  35. DDDan

    December 18, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Listen to the song of Uranus. Fascinating!

  36. Glenn Talaska

    December 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I’m not satisfied with the explanation of what these “sounds” are. What frequencies are we talking about here, Kenneth?

  37. Alexandra Williams

    December 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm

  38. Alex

    December 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    “To clarify, it’s not sound as we know it”

    To clarify, IT’S NOT SOUND.

  39. Robert Estlinbaum

    January 6, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Sounds from the sun? What’s the source? I recall something similar from a previous article. But this one doesn’t cite the original source for the waves…

  40. Robert Estlinbaum

    January 6, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Nevermind, Seen it before, as I started the video. Got Source within.

  41. Gordon Driscoll

    January 7, 2015 at 12:23 am

    I have music similar to this…
    Steve Roach..Blue Tech, Somnia, Evan Bartholomew, Juxta phona, offthesky , and Motionfield to name a few…
    it’s what i like…It’s piped into my yard…while I garden.

  42. Gordon Driscoll

    January 7, 2015 at 12:26 am

    I listen to CD’s with this style of “music”…
    from Steve Roach, Juxta hona & offthesky, Bluetech, Motionfield, and Evan Bratholomew…to name a few

  43. LAWRENCE MORELLO

    January 7, 2015 at 1:16 am

    68!

  44. Craig

    January 7, 2015 at 2:42 am

    The next Pink Floyd album basis ?

  45. cygnet2

    January 7, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I listened once with eyes open, once with eyes closed…Almost hypnotic. Meditative..

  46. BJ

    January 7, 2015 at 3:51 am

    This would help me sleep so good!

  47. jas

    January 7, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Yeah how much money was wasted on this crap

  48. Zariah June

    January 7, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Miranda is actually one of Uranus moons!

  49. Emeniano Acain Somoza Jr.

    January 7, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Uranus is actually the most soothing to me… the sound it’s making, I mean.

  50. Alex

    January 7, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I call bullshit, it sounds just like regular dark ambient music on youtube, you couldn’t possibly hear birds or electronic whirring from space, or wind.
    How would NASA know to put these instruments on the probes anyway,these were sent out years ago.

  51. Peter Walrath

    January 8, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Not terrifying at all. Quite beautiful.

  52. jeffsez

    January 8, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Sounds like a Robert Rich & Steve Roach collaboration album!!! I totally love the ambiance of space

  53. Jaden Graham

    January 10, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Keep in mind, that these sounds are “translated” into a frequency that we can actually hear. The original tracks probably sound nothing like these, if we could ear them. The fact that these are augmented for us to hear, it probably altered the true sound of them.

  54. Mikael

    January 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    The planets (and satellites) probably sound like they do because they all spin around their own axes, as well as spinning around the sun (as well as the speed of each planet/satellite). Probably also because of the atmospheric conditions of each planet – the more wind there is, the more noise it makes. It is also probably because of if they’re gaseous, hollow, not hollow etc. – each form making a different sound.

  55. Darrell

    January 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Can you imagine walking around and hearing that all day long…like the ocean.

  56. RedDonnaAnn

    January 11, 2015 at 4:58 am

    What’s with the stupid headline (absolutely terrifying???) and all the gross sex ads? This site needs to shape up.

  57. Spaceman

    January 11, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I have photography-related ads, because they are generated according to your browsing history. Once you, or your husband/boyfriend/partner stop visiting sex websites, the ads will change 🙂

  58. Nanci Strauss

    January 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Beautiful, Eerie, Soothing and complex. I’d love to buy an MP3 of all these recordings!

  59. SaraWson

    January 12, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Did you even thread the article? It’s not actual sound waves that you hear but electromagnetic waves that are interpreted into sound that we can hear..

  60. Nick A

    January 12, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    There is no “true sound”. It’s electromagnetic radiation. The intro says they just translated electromagnetic frequencies from 20hz-20,000hz into vibrations at the same frequencies. In other words, basically, if we could hear long radio waves instead of the air pressure waves that we do that’s what it would sound like.

  61. Nick A

    January 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I think pretty much the only instruments they needed were the giant radio antennas.

  62. Amber M.

    January 13, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Think of how titanic most of the planets are in comparison to us. A lot of the translated sounds are very deep and almost intimidating, sounds something very large would create. Also, they have been translated from the original subsonic frequencies that us humans cannot hear, so likely the true sound was indeed altered but only so we could actually hear it. This is the result. There is also a lot of different particles and matter flying around in space, many things going on at once.

    Ignore the Foil Hats.

  63. nate

    January 15, 2015 at 2:33 am

    I agree. To say that electromagnetic energy “sounds” like this is similar to saying the color red “tastes” like apples.

  64. PlatyPius

    February 19, 2015 at 4:56 am

    Terrifying? I found them soothing.

  65. Anthony

    February 19, 2015 at 7:18 am

    There’s a face in the clouds. Voice of Earth

  66. Ritsuka Gustav

    February 19, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    i enjoyed the sounds,some of them actually sounded like the planets were crying in pain. but thats my opinion

  67. Brian

    February 20, 2015 at 4:50 am

    Uranus sounds windy.

  68. Bello Winterman

    February 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    earth cries

  69. Justin

    February 26, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Job 38:7 “while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy”

  70. wil

    February 27, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Is it jst me. I see a face on earth?

  71. Louise

    February 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHMMMMMM!

  72. Mike Hennessey

    March 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve heard worse sounds coming out of my butt.

  73. uncabri

    March 3, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I love it, actually. Sounds like my white noise machine

  74. Ritsuka Gustav

    March 3, 2015 at 3:14 am

    please dont quote a book

  75. Xip

    March 3, 2015 at 3:25 am

    is this on a different website? I really don’t want to share this click bait site with people I consider friends

  76. rodzilla47

    March 3, 2015 at 3:30 am

    You can hear more terrifying sounds on pop radio every day!

  77. Leslie Nicole Mayton

    March 3, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Love it, them!!

  78. Rio

    March 3, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Why or how is this terrifying? It’s beautiful.

  79. Robert Scott

    March 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Very Lynchian.

  80. Chan

    March 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    What’s so terrifying about how the rhythm of energy sounds?

  81. Brad Merrill

    March 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    The video is on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MmWeZHsQzs

  82. JD

    March 3, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    EMF waves can be modulated, demodulated and shifted in frequency or phase but coming from a planet, audio wouldn’t be the purpose or application of the waves.

  83. Rogue

    March 4, 2015 at 12:44 am

    just click the “play in youtube” button, and you can open the video in youtube.

  84. Rogue

    March 4, 2015 at 12:45 am

    just click the “play in youtube” button… and it’ll open the video in youtube. and then you can share that.

  85. kevin m

    March 4, 2015 at 6:54 am

    This is “absolutely terrifying”? Apparently I am extremely brave because it just made me fall into a coma. Borrrriinnngggg

  86. Miika Niemitalo

    March 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    space makes ambient music!

  87. susan

    March 4, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    So there are two sounds earth makes? I don’t get it.

  88. Luiz Fernando Alves

    March 4, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    This is what H.R. Giger’s paintings sound like.

  89. S

    March 31, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I closed my eyes to listen, and when I opened them to look at y keyboard, I thought “so rudimentary”.

  90. dkbk

    April 1, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Uranus?

  91. Rachael

    April 1, 2015 at 5:19 am

    The one who posted this used the word “terrifying” to lure people in. They may not have received as much attention otherwise.

  92. David Frohman

    April 1, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Professor Van Allen, of the University of Iowa, is the one who discovered these sounds. They’re called Van Allen radiation in his honor

  93. Kevin Stiles

    April 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    It’s not sound. You can come up with some method to convert any pattern to any sensory input.

  94. Tony Vazquez

    April 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    It’s the Music of Earth & the Voice of Earth. The others are the Back-up Singers of Earth, at least in our geocentric viewpoint.

  95. dawn dalzell

    April 2, 2015 at 12:29 am

    I think it sounds pretty cool

  96. Bonnie

    April 2, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Very relaxing! Not at all terrifying. Would be nice during savasana at the end of my yoga classes.

  97. bambii

    April 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    nothing terrifying at all, they all sound quite like the wind, but interesting that Neptune sounds watery

  98. Michelle Pequignot-Judd

    April 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    click on the youtube icon on the bottom right of the video screen

  99. Whiskey dust

    April 4, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Galaxy is a noisy place with all all those humans and their probes.

  100. Monica Martin

    April 5, 2015 at 7:29 am

    How can the sounds be terrifying? Our Universe is full of music. A beautiful, powerful, amazing cacophony of the voices we’re privileged to be able hear.

  101. maya

    April 5, 2015 at 9:19 am

    This is amazing, far from terrifying as described by the article. The most beautiful was the sound of earth but the voice of earth sounded very sad – like the earth was crying :(…….Uranus, quite creepy but it’s AMAZING!

  102. J

    April 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Umm….your description is highly misleading. You claim that these sounds are TERRIFYING!!! Here’s the definition of “terrifying”… petrify, horrify, frighten, scare, scare stiff, scare/frighten to death, scare/frighten the living daylights out of, scare/frighten the life out of, scare/frighten someone out of their wits, scare witless, strike terror into, put the fear of God into.

    No…. they’re not terrifying. I think you’re just being sensationalistic in order to drum up interest in your post.

  103. b

    April 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks for wasting 7 minutes of my life

  104. Alex Gonzale

    April 10, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Did I hear monkeys and birds on planet eart or is just me?

  105. Mike

    April 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    WRONG! Sound cannot exist in space. By definition, sound is the transfer of kinetic energy through a medium (solid, liquid, gas) via the vibrating interaction its molecules. There is no medium in space to carry sound. Electromagnetic waves aren’t sound waves. The 20 to 20,000 hertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum corresponds to the very low frequency portion of it we call “radio”. These are simply radio waves modulated into sound the same way radio waves are modulated into sound by the stereo in your car. You could modulate any portion of the EM spectrum into sound in the same way, including light and x-rays.

  106. Kevin Valentine

    April 16, 2015 at 12:57 am

    I guess they can hear you scream…lol

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  109. Ellis

    June 13, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    People say the noises aren’t scary and they’re not. On they’re own at least…. But imagine them being used in a horror game like Silent Hill. XD

  110. Richard Dufour

    June 13, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Not at all terrifying but interesting…

  111. Wendy

    June 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t know why they say it is terrifying , its beautiful. and because of NASA we know that not only are there some of the most beautifulest colors in space but now we know they come with sound. thanks NASA

  112. shirley

    July 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Maybe 2001 Space Odyssey got it right for their soundtrack.

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