Why this volcano in Ecuador sounds like it’s breathing

Cotopaxi in September, 2015.

Researchers have recorded a strange new sound that started coming from a volcano in Ecuador after it erupted in the fall of 2015 — and the sound is incredibly soothing. It sounds like a napping volcano is slowly inhaling and exhaling.

Basically, it’s volcanic ASMR — which sounds like an oxymoron since volcanoes can destroy homes, kill people, and cause chaos. But this volcano, called Cotopaxi, breathed even when it wasn’t spewing ash into the air. It’s just a new note in the baseline chorus of volcanic rumblings that researchers can listen to at a distance for signs the volcano’s getting restless, according to a new study published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. It’s kind of like a baby monitor on a geologic scale,…

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