Special Reports

Last updated: 9 july, 2009 - 11:03 GMT

Desperately Seeking - sounds sought

Here are some sounds that we're still keen to find. Can you help?

Eric, Prague, Czech Republic

When I was a youngster, the first time I went snorkelling was at Garrafon in Mexico on Isla Mujeres. After absorbing the visual wonder of all the colourful fish and coral I noticed something else.

The sound... like pebbles or hard glass fragments, clinking, tinkling, occasionally chiming.

Since then I've gone snorkelling in Indonesia and Croatia and I've realized, that magic sound comes from bits and pieces of coral fragments clinking together and on the coral reef itself.

It’s a wonderful sound and can only be heard underwater at a coral reef. So it makes it all the more special.

That’s the sound that I want to hear again. Hopefully this summer because there's nothing like the real thing. But since coral reefs are in danger I think this is a sound to save.

Jenny Lunnon, Oxford, UK

I'm afraid I can't get out to record an example, but I think it's a real shame that the 'pattering' sound of the numbers and letters flipping over on train station arrival and departure boards is being superseded by the silence of digital ones.

I remember how exciting it was as a teenage inter-railer going to the local train station every morning and listening to this sound. It was all bound up with wondering where we'd decide to go that day -- Venice or Rome? Vienna or Budapest? -- and I will certainly miss it.

Hopefully someone will be able to come up with a recording as at present they do still exist in many European stations.

Janet Roe-Darden, Lansing, MI, USA

My husband and I came up with a few ideas last night after hearing the broadcast on BBC World Service, via WUOM-FM, 91.7, Ann Arbor, Michigan. I grew up near an oil producing area in Michigan (honest!). I fell asleep at night hearing the "put-put-put" of the nearby drill rigs, and their creaking. Just about drove a visiting uncle mad, but it never bothered me. My husband grew up in Central Florida. He says he would like to hear alligators grunting. We also like the sound of casting a fishing rod over a lake, and then reeling it back in. Do you remember that sound?

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