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Sounds from a quiet continent

where are we today?

Yesterday, almost as soon as our helicopter’s blades coasted to a stop, we were struck by the returning sounds of everyday life at McMurdo. Heavy machinery droned in the distance; freezers and heating units churned outside buildings; meltwater rushed down gullies, sweeping rocks along with it.

After a week at Mount Morning we had become accustomed to gentler sounds. In my everyday life I automatically disregard clanking engines and whirring motors; they’re so common that I sometimes even invent them from the white noise around me. More than once last week I convinced myself I was hearing manmade sounds – Chris’s returning footsteps or the approach of an imaginary helicopter, when it was only the wind and the tent.

But Antarctica is not a silent place. We’ve been posting some of its sounds to our Polar Fun page in past weeks. Here’s a new installment - listen with us to the sounds of rocks clunking, wind whistling, a penguin doing its best to sing, plus some of the sounds people have brought here.

Today's update includes sound files for each photo. You may need to adjust the volume for each one. These sounds are also available in our Polar Fun Sounds section. Enjoy!

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in»

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