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Earth-Sounds in the East Indies


    CAPT. P. JANSEN, St. Helens Court, London, E.G.3, has sent us an interesting account of sounds heard by him near the mouths of rivers in the Dutch East Indies. Except in their higher pitch, they seem to resemble the barisal guns of the Ganges delta and the brontides of certain districts in Italy. On the roads of Sourabaya in Java, he says, two or three noises, as of foghorns of different notes, were heard at irregular intervals of a few seconds, each lasting for one or two seconds. In the hold of an empty ship, the noise was deafening. After continuing for one or two hours, the noises ceased as suddenly as they began. Capt. Jansen has heard the same noises, but less frequently, at the mouth of the Palembang River in Sumatra. At the mouths of some of the rivers of the Malay Peninsula, other noises were heard, like that of plucking the strings of a musical instrument, all on the same note and at irregular intervals. Although barisal guns and brontides have for a long time been carefully studied, their origin is still obscure. They are heard frequently in seismic districts and also in countries free from earthquakes. Possibly they have more than one origin, but their frequent occurrence near the mouths of great rivers seems to connect them with the settling of the delta or of the underlying crust.

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