• Question: What is the volume on your television measured in?

    Asked by Meech POP POP to Avani, Jeff, Kenzi, Lindsay, Zoe on 11 May 2015.
    • Photo: Zoe GetmanPickering

      Zoe GetmanPickering answered on 11 May 2015:

      Sound loudness is measured in decibels. The volume numbers on your TV or speakers are arbitrary. People talk at about 60-65 decibels normally, while a train or a jackhammer are almost 100 decibels.
      Do you know that there is an insect called the lesser water boatman (it lives in the water) which can make 92 decibels of sound by vibrating its penis?

    • Photo: Jeff Shi

      Jeff Shi answered on 12 May 2015:

      You would think it’s decibels, but it sure is not decibels.

    • Photo: K. Lindsay Hunter

      K. Lindsay Hunter answered on 12 May 2015:

      As Zoe has explained, volume or loudness is measured in decibels. What we’re perceiving as sound are actually vibrations.

      Humans are able to pick up these vibrations through our three tiniest bones (found in our middle ears), and called “auditory ossicles.” You may have heard their common names, which describe in Latin what they look like: malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (stirrup).

      Very early in mammalian evolution, these tiny bones weren’t all in our middle ear like they are today, they were actually part of our jaws! This shift, though, enabled us to have better hearing than our reptile relatives.

      These ossicles are very rare to find in human evolution because they are so small, but increasingly detailed excavation methods might help change that!

    • Photo: Kenzi Clark

      Kenzi Clark answered on 16 May 2015:

      I vote for Zoe and Lindsay on this one! Great answers!