Jul 8, 2009

Make Like a Dolphin: Learn Echolocation

Cool, I think I just found a new hobby, and it only takes a few hours per day, and even "ordinary" people can do it :o)

With just a few weeks of training, you can learn to “see” objects in the dark using echolocation the same way dolphins and bats do.

Ordinary people with no special skills can use tongue clicks to visualize objects by listening to the way sound echoes off their surroundings, according to acoustic experts at the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain.

“Two hours per day for a couple of weeks are enough to distinguish whether you have an object in front of you,” Juan Antonio Martinez said in a press release. “Within another couple weeks you can tell the difference between trees and pavement.”

To master the art of echolocation, all you have to do is learn to make special clicks with your tongue and palate, and then learn to recognize slight changes in the way the clicks sound depending on what objects are nearby. Martinez and his colleagues are developing a system to teach people how to use echolocation, a skill that could be particularly useful for the blind and for people who work under dark or smoky conditions, like firefighters — or cat burglars.

To learn more, click through to the following Wired Science site.


  1. This is fascinating. How cool would it be to learn this. I'm going to check it out a little more.

  2. Ouch!! Who put that wall there?? Dag ... MOUTH clicks with your eyes closed, not heel clicks!!

    Oh well, there is still no place like home!!

  3. Dolphins are incredibly intelligent...sometimes I think more so than our own species. :)

  4. I agree with Beth, I often think that Dolphins seem to be SO SMART.. more than us!! It's cool that they are studying this more in depth.


  5. Hi Ken,
    As much as I admire dolphins, the sad truth is that one of my neighbors went for a Swimming with the Dolphins exursion and was nearly raped by a horny adolescent dolphin (no joke, it even made the newspapers). Tongues were clicking all over the neighborhood for weeks about that one ...!


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