If you try to stand beside an elephant you might feel a gush of wind or perhaps a vibration on the chest area. Are you scared? Yes, you have every reason to be, but it’s not the thudding on the chest brought about by your heavy heartbeat. This may be a surprise but the sound comes from the animal situated just beside you. It is called elephant rumbling. Elephants are one of the highly intelligent animals yet they are the ones with the least form of communication. Unlike cats that purr and dogs that bark, elephants have some form of communication and vocalization.
Rumbling is a form of a long and far distance kind of communication even though it is kilometers apart from another elephant. It helps detect other elephant locations. In determining friends and family members, the intensity of the rumble is relied upon – the stronger the rumble, the closer they are to proximity and kind. Rumbling can be depended upon for protection of one’s kind when there is imminent danger. It is also used for communicating mating behavior.
How far can the rumbling sound be reached? As seen in the Discovery Magazine and Suite 101.com site, a study conducted by Dr Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell, of Stanford University studies elephants in the wild in Nambia, Africa through her nonprofit organization Utopia Scientific revealed “that elephants' low-frequency rumbles can travel over two kilometers, and some studies have suggested that the sounds might travel up to 10 kilometers. Not only do these vibrations travel through the air, but these sound waves can also be transmitted through the ground the elephants stand on. Elephants sense these long- distance seismic vibrations through their feet and also by pressing their trunks to the ground. ”
Elephant Rumbling Explained