Are you too poor to afford an exotic beach vacation in the dead of this frigid winter? Now, with the “Noisy Instrument” (pictured below) you can bring the sounds of the ocean to your sad, depressed little ear canals while simultaneously looking like your hearing aid ran amok.
Well, actually you can’t, because it doesn’t seem to be listed for sale by makers Jun Murakoshi Design. Sorry for the false hope.
So how does a seashell (or the unattainable Noisy Instrument) produce that whooshing oceany sound when placed close to your ear? The answer is that the device/shell traps ambient noise around you and channels it into your ear canal, creating the illusion of ocean noise, which can be modified by the level of ambient noise and the angle of the shell to your ear. The Noisy Instrument’s “branches” (which extend in a few directions) are open-ended and collect ambient noise, while the “reservoir” at the end of the device is closed and makes sure that the sound is channeled into the ear canal. The same effect can be obtained by cupping your hand over your ear too, so actually you don’t even need these headphones. Which is good because it looks like it would fall off if you bent over to pick something up.
Hat tip Abby Normal, lurker par excellence.