According to a NYT Article from 2006:
“Collisions between sand grains cause the motions of the grains to become synchronized. The outer layer of the dune vibrates like the cone of a loudspeaker. The particular note depends primarily on the size of the grains…The most beautiful dune tune comes from the sands of Oman. ‘Very pure sound’, Dr. Douady said. ‘This one is really singing’. The least musical bits of silicon were those from China, which hardly sang at all”.
Yes, I agree with Dr. Douady. I didn’t hear any singing what so ever. Nonetheless, the scenery was gorgeous. This was the second desert that I have seen in all of China. In 2008, I saw the Taklamakan Desert in Turpan and was amazed of the scale and the different faces a desert could have. This Singing Sand Ravine’s great size and scale again reminded me of how small we humans are compared to the great nature our world has to offer. I’ve come to notice that these feelings have become harder to experience these days as we spend most of our time working in metropolitan cities far away from nature. But again, it’s nice to take a step back and emerge yourself with nature once in a while.
Located 50km south of Baotou (包头) and north of Ordos (鄂尔多斯), ‘Singing Sand’ is a must see if you are in the region.
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.