Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

Why does a frozen lake sound like a Star Wars blaster?

Ice can make all sorts of sounds: cracking, crackling, musical booooooms… and that pew! pew! Star Wars blaster sound. How? In this episode of NPR’s Skunk Bear, we learn about acoustic dispersion and how the phenomenon can create that familiar science fiction movie sound effect with the help of a frozen lake…

Or with the metal slinky that you might have around the house. Watch this vid, then try making the sound yourself.

ice sound waves
star wars blaster sound
Related ice sounds: Crackling ice stacking on the shore of Lake Superior and Ice Drumming on Lake Baikal.

Plus: The Waterphone, The Secret World of Foley, The Inverted Glass Harp, more frequencies and vibrations, and more smart from Skunk Bear.

Thanks, @ryanjamescliff.


This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

A waterless and chemical-free sound wave fire extinguisher

Rion Nakaya

F is for Frequency – Circuit Playground

Rion Nakaya

Can ice on Europa and Enceladus help us find extraterrestrial life?

Rion Nakaya

Vampire Bats: Bloodthirsty … and Cuddly – Skunk Bear

Rion Nakaya

Singing Tesla Coils: Inspector Gadget

Rion Nakaya

Ridiculous Tricks You Can Do With a Slinky

Rion Nakaya

Ice music made on hand-carved ice instruments

Rion Nakaya

The Slinky machine: A hand-cranked, wooden Slinky escalator

Rion Nakaya

Popcorn Under A Microscope – NPR’s Skunk Bear

Rion Nakaya