Adam Cole is the science fanatic behind NPR’s popular science blog Skunk Bear.

In a recent post, Cole wondered if he could use a technique known as Schlieren Flow Visualization to see sound.

The answer was a resounding YES! And the video below shows the fascinating results. Also included: a diagram of how Schlieren Flow Visualization works and animated gifs (from the video) that show what different sounds look like.

[via Skunk Bear]

How the Schlieren Flow Visualization Works

Diagram by Adam Cole @ Skunk Bear


Seeing Sound with Animated Gifs

Schlieren images by Mike Hargather

Clapping Hands

A Firecracker

A Falling Book

Whipping a Frayed Towel

A Speaker (10Hz tone over 100 decibels)

A Gunshot (bullet faster than speed of sound!)