Scientists have recorded the sound of Pando, the “forest of a single tree”, considered to be the largest living organism of the world. According to The Guardian, the forest is made of 47,000 genetically identical stems sprouting from a shared root system. Pando, which means “I spread” in Latin, is spread across 100 acres. The organism is believed to be thousands of years old with a dry weight of 6,000 metric tonnes, making it the planet’s heaviest living organism, the outlet further said.
Now, a sound artist has been able to capture the acoustic portrait of Pando using hydrophones.
“This project began with a question: what is the sound of one of the world’s largest organisms,” said sound artist Jeff Rice, while presenting his findings at 184th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Chicago.
The attempt was part of an art project for which Mr Rice worked with Lance Oditt, the founder of the nonprofit group Friends of Pando.
“I recorded pretty much everything that I could possibly record,” the artist told The Guardian. He added that the recordings include the sounds of leaves, birds, foxes, and even of ants moving over the branches.
In one of the recordings, Mr Rice heard a whisper with the tremble of a million leaves echoing through Pando’s roots.
“What you’re hearing I think, is the sound of millions of leaves in the forest, vibrating the tree and passing down through the branches, down into the earth,” said Mr Rice.
Science Alert said that the hydrophone was placed inside a hollow at the base of a branch and threaded down to the tree’s roots.
It also captured the thumps from tapping on a branch 90 feet away. This supported the theory that Pando’s root system is interconnected, said the outlet. However, it added that a proper experimental setup would be required to confirm the sound wasn’t traveling through the soil.