Yes fish can - and do - make noises, and life beneath the waves is far from silent. Along with snapping shrimps, spine-rattling urchins and orchestral whales, many species of fish contribute to the cacophony of underwater sound – grunting, clicking, honking, groaning, burping and even grinding their teeth for many reasons.

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Triggerfish, for example, are territorial. They create a grinding noise by moving their dorsal spines in their sockets, a sound that is amplified as it resonates in the swim bladder. It serves to ward off intruders and potential predators, and alerts other fish.

Herring are also very noisy. They expel a stream of air from the swim bladder via the anus, creating high-pitched chirps that help the fish to stick together in protective shoals during the night. The phenomenon is known as the Fast Repetitive Tick (FRT). Breaking wind, it seems, helps herring to survive.

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Cartilaginous fish such as sharks and rays lack swim bladders. However, divers have reported hearing eagle and manta rays emitting high-pitched squeals, so researchers are investigating whether certain species are able to produce noise without using their swim bladder.

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