Top 20 Loudest Animals in the World
In the jungle, stealth is often an asset. Sounds that animals make are rarely aimless. Spread over land and sea, the animal kingdom has evolved to produce sounds that augment their survival. Humans, for example, can shout to a level of up to 70 decibels but our ears can only handle about 120 decibels. We are hardly the loudest animal on in the world.
For reasons that are mostly socially motivated, some animals make very loud noises. Here is a list of 20 loudest animals in the world.
1. Blue Whales – 230db
Whales sing to communicate and navigate the seas around them. Vocalizations from Blue Whales can reach up to 188 decibels which is louder than a jet engine’s rumble. Sperm Whales are louder. They produce clicks of up to 230 decibels that help them echolocate prey that could be more than a mile away.
2. Snapping Shrimp – 200db
These tiny creatures which reside in the tropical reefs of the world emit sonic snaps to stun and kill their prey. By snapping their powerful claws at incredible speeds, they spurt out water at velocities of up to 62 miles an hour. The jet creates a low-pressure bubble which upon collapsing produces a mini explosion that emits heat and sound reaching up to 200 decibels.
3. Howler monkey – 140db
The particularly social creature is known for making the loudest howls among all land animals. Whether it is to guard their mates, protect their territory or communicate amongst themselves, their howls can peak at an astounding 140 decibels. The monkey’s high volume is attributed to a throat sac created by an enlarged U-shaped hyoid bone. A troop of howlers can be heard from up to 5km away.
4. Greater Bulldog Bat – 137db
Bat calls have been known to be more intense than rock concerts. Thankfully, their sounds are ultrasonic, and our ears cannot perceive them. The greater bulldog bat is the loudest bat in the world. To echolocate fish in water pools, the bat can produce sounds exceeding 137 decibels.
5. Kakapo Parrot – 132db
The Kakapo, which is also known as the Owl Parrot is the heaviest and loudest parrot in the world. It is flightless, nocturnal and can live for up to 90 years. The bird has a thoracic air sac that enables it to give out mating calls that can be heard more than 4 miles away. With these calls reaching up to 132 decibels, Kakapo Parrots are among the loudest animals in the world.
6. Moluccan Cockatoo – 129db
This parrot native to Eastern Indonesia is the second loudest bird in the world. To attract females, males make loud mating calls that can reach up to 129 decibels and be heard 5 miles away.
7. Northern Elephant Seal – 126db
These large marine mammals that inhabit the Eastern Pacific ocean communicate with each other by producing different sounds. The male uses its large proboscis to make mating calls that attract females and intimidate fellow males. Each Elephant Seal has a unique rhythm that is telling of its identity and strength. The calls which travel for miles can reach up to 126 decibels.
8. Green Grocer & Yellow Monday Grocer Cicada – 120db
This unique insect has a “musical drum” known as a tymbal in its abdomen which it uses to produce pulse sounds of up to 120 decibels that can be heard 24,000 meters away. This makes it the loudest insect in the world. The sounds serve to protect them from predators, court potential mates or indicate distress when an insect is separated from its family.
9. North American Bullfrog – 119db
With its mating calls reaching up to 199 decibels, the North American Bullfrog is the loudest amphibian on earth. Both males and females produce the low-pitched sound, but males tend to be louder and more frequent in their croaks.
10. African Elephant – 117db
By pushing a gush of air through their trunks, African Elephants produce a variety of sounds including snorts, roars, rumbles, and trumpets to communicate various messages and moods. Their trumpeting sounds can be as loud as 117 decibels.
11. Gray Wolf – 115db
Wolves are famed for their howls. They howl to announce their territory or to keep track of their pack members. Their howl which can be heard for miles can reach up to 115 decibels.
12. Hippopotamus – 114db
Hippos grunt and groan to warn off predators or establish dominance. Their extreme aggression can be detected in these noises which range between 110 to 114 decibels.
13. Lion – 114db
The king of the jungle is the 13th loudest animal on earth. The lion is well known for his terrifying roar that reaches up to 114 decibels. Roars vary, each communicating a different message from threat to affection.
14. Hyena – 112db
Hyenas make various sounds to communicate among each other in their significantly large clans or to ward off enemies. Their cackles and whooping sounds can be as loud as 112 decibels.
15. Coqui Frog – 100db
These Puerto Rico native frogs derive their name from the “co-qui” calls they make. Only males sing. The “co” is meant to mark territory while the “qui” is a mating call to attract females. With a single frog making sounds as loud as 100 decibels, an aggregate is louder than a jackhammer.
16. Three-wattled Bellbird – 100db
This extremely noisy bird is native to Central America. To attract females, males can make sounds of up to 100 decibels.
17. Oilbird – 100db
Oilbirds like bats use echolocation to navigate. Their sensitivity is not as finely tuned as the bats’ so their echolocation is limited to navigation in dark caves. Each bird in a colony, which can be a thousand strong, can give off a squawk reaching up to 100 decibels at close range.
18. Water boatman – 99db
This is the loudest animal on earth relative to its body size. The grain-sized insect creates songs to attract mates by rubbing its penis against its abdomen; an act referred to as stridulation. This generates sounds ranging between 99 and 105 decibels.
19. Mole Cricket – 92db
The Gryllotalpa vinae can amplify its sound by chirping loudly inside a megaphone-shaped dugout which it creates using its specialized front legs. The sound which peaks at around 92 decibels can be heard clearly from 600 feet away.
20. American Alligator – 90db
The high pitched but low-frequency bellows of an American Alligator can reach 90 decibels. They produce the sound by exhaling a gush of air either below or above water. The sound serves to either ward off invaders or challenge for a mate.