Do you hear what I hear?

Palawan Beach

True to tradition, here I am on the stroke of New Year’s with a blog post—just like last year! And interestingly, the topic of this year end’s contribution is also steeped in water just like last year’s post on Hippo Aggression!  Inspired by a recent visit to Sentosa’s Palawan Beach with a fun-loving friend, I simply had to pen what proved a most unusual auditory experience for the both of us!

It all started when we were frolicking in the salty sea and thick slimy substrate. My chummy friend was curious about how to tread water and float on her back. I gave her a quick crash course, and being the talented gal she was—she applied what she’d learnt in no time. But she soon side-flipped, commenting that she kept hearing a constant “hiss, snap, crackle and pop!” whenever she floated on her back.

“Hiss, snap, crackle and pop? Bah! That’s just your brain cells having a lil’ bonfire up there!” I replied.

Jo raised one eyebrow—she wasn’t buying that.

I decided to suss it out! I got on my back, freaked out and side flipped straight after! It unnerved me! What on earth was that sound? The constant “hiss, crackle and pop!” was really loud and downright disconcerting! Crumbs! I wonder if anyone else could hear what Jo and I’d just heard!

From what I’ve googled, it could be due to any one of a host of things although one explanation stuck out like a sore thumb—‘Eustachian tube dysfunction’!

Simplified ear anatomy, Source: Iain

The Eustachian tube is the tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Apparently, fluid in the middle ear can become thickened, especially after prolonged cough or a cold (both of which I’ve experienced very recently). This can cause a block in the tube and lead to a build of pressure, which when released, causes a popping or snapping sound.

Now, I can’t really put down what I’d experienced to ETD. But it sure doesn’t sound very good if it was the case!

Has anyone else experienced this sort of thing, especially in water? I’m curious to hear your story!

And hey, it’s New Year’s Eve so “Happy New Year!” whichever part of the world you’re from!  And while you’re out having a blast, why not check out this song-“Do you hear what I hear?” Sung by Carrie Underwood and written way back in 1962, it’s kinda befitting as it’s a Christmas song (and Christmas has only just passed) and the title of the song is really what my post aims to find out! :p~

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kiat Teng says:

    Interesting experience, Danny. I have no similar experience, but wish you luck in finding the real cause for this soon!

    And of course, happy new year to you too!

  2. Danny says:

    Thanks Kiat Teng 🙂

    I’m glad you haven’t experienced this before.. It’s quite strange and a little unsettling especially when it’s causes are unknown to me! Still, I trust the murkiness will lift over this real soon, and by which time hopefully the problem too if there was one to start!

    Happy New Year to you too!

  3. Andy Giger says:

    Actually a much more benign as well as exciting possible explanation is that what you heard was the chatter and hunting noises of snapping shrimp!

    These little guys can snap their claws shut so fast that a cavitation bubble occurs, and the collapse of that bubble causes a loud crack (as well as a pressure wave that can kill a small fish…). Put enough of these pistoleros together and you get something that sounds a lot like the crackling soundscape you describe.

    1. Danny says:

      Crumbs! that’s a crackling thought! Thanks for shedding shrimpy light on this!

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