Which animal species is capable of breaking the sound barrier? No animal can achieve that speed on its own. But many animals can reach speeds very close to the sound barrier. The term "sonic boom" is used for sounds that are made when objects travel at or near the speed of sound.
Sonic booms are caused by large objects such as aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. When these objects move through the air, they compress the air around them, creating waves which radiate out in all directions from the source of the explosion. The amplitude of the wave increases as it moves away from the source, until it reaches a peak value when it is transmitted completely. Then it decreases as it travels further from the origin, until it becomes inaudible.
Sonic booms can be heard over long distances from their source due to the inverse square law. This means that the intensity of the noise declines as the square of the distance from the source.
The maximum theoretical speed of sound is approximately 1,085 miles per hour (1,695 km/hour). Some animals have been reported to approach this limit while flying: bats, birds, and certain fish. However, no animal can achieve this speed entirely on its own power.
The speed at which you breach the sound barrier is determined by a variety of factors, including weather and altitude. At sea level, it's around 770 mph (1,239 km/h). But at higher altitudes or in clear weather, you can reach speeds over 1,000 mph (1,610 km/h). Breaching the sound barrier is a major accomplishment in aviation history.
When aircraft move faster than about 500 miles per hour (805 km/h), they begin to encounter sonic boom-related problems. The shock wave produced when an object moves faster than the speed of sound creates many problems for aircraft. Not only does it make noise that can be heard on the ground, but it can also cause structural damage to planes. A large commercial airliner can sustain damage from a single sonic boom!
There are two ways to break the sound barrier: under power or after reducing engine torque. Under power breaking results in a more dramatic rise in pressure against the cockpit windows and fuselage walls. This happens because the front part of the plane is moving faster than the rear part, and so there is a difference in velocity between these two parts. As the front part catches up with the back part, this difference in velocity produces an increase in pressure against the cockpit window and fuselage wall.
In order for this to be true, the towel's tip must travel faster than the speed of sound. We used high-speed photography to demonstrate that the tip of the towel does, in fact, break the sound barrier. Bernstein et al1958.'s experiment demonstrated that the point of a cracked bull whip travels faster than the speed of sound. This phenomenon can also be seen with other materials that are flexible and have sharp points such as bamboo and leather whips.
Towels are made of cotton fibers which are too soft to be used as a whip but do have one important property: they will snap if pulled hard enough. So, breaking the sound barrier while drying yourself after a shower will not be possible using a regular towel. However, you could use a silk towel which would not only look good but also dry faster because silk absorbs less water than cotton.
Also, note that even though the tip of the towel breaks the sound barrier, it wouldn't be able to cause any damage because all it takes to create noise above the sound barrier is a single fiber from the towel's edge or some dust trapped between its threads. The whole thing would be invisible to the naked eye.
Certain animals have the ability to emit and hear ultrasonic frequencies that exceed 20 kilohertz. Ultrasonic hearing is used by bats, insects such as beetles, moths, praying mantis, dolphins, canines, frogs, toads, and others to communicate. Insects use high-frequency sound to find their way around in darkness or during rainy weather, and to locate food sources. Bats use high-frequency sounds to find their way while flying at night. Dolphins use high-frequency sounds to talk to each other over large distances.
Can humans hear ultrasonics? Yes, but it is very difficult because they are above the range of human perception. For example, a person could not hear any sound above 20 kHz if another person was emitting these frequencies.
The human ear can detect sound waves between 0.00004 and 40,000 Hz (or 20 kHz). Higher frequency sounds are detectable within this range, but aren't heard by humans. For example, humans cannot hear higher frequency sounds than 20 kHz because our ears are incapable of detecting frequencies above this limit. Also, humans cannot hear lower frequency sounds than 20 Hz because our muscles become tense when we try to listen to such low frequencies.
There are two ways humans can perceive ultrasonics: through electroreception and via the hair cells in our cochlea.
Sperm whales are so loud that their screams may kill a person. The noise from these whales can reach 150 dB (decibels), which is over 10 times louder than a jet engine. This huge volume of sound causes damage to organs over a large area of land or water. The impact of this sound can also cause death by heart attack or brain injury.
Whales use their voices to communicate with each other and search for food. They make noises by blowing air through their nose, mouth, and spiracles (small holes on the face). These sounds travel long distances under water and allow whales to find food when they are far away from shore.
However, humans are also vulnerable to these loud cries because they can suffer serious health problems from listening to whales. Hearing loss is one issue; another is stress caused by feeling afraid. Both humans and whales can be harmed if they listen to screaming whales too close to shore. It is best not to listen to these animals unless you want to hear a scream-filled night every time you go out swimming.