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Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Mystery Of The Roaring Sand Dunes

If you’re planning to go to Cape Town on holidays (South Africa), don’t forget to visit the “Roaring Sand Dunes” which is located on the western side of the Langeberg Dunes in the Northern Cape Province. If you happen to disturb the sand, you will hear an amazing sound that differs from a roar and a hum…

The roaring sands derive from an extraordinary group of white dunes, approximately 12 kilometers long and 3 kilometers broad. They contrast with the predominant red dunes of the Northern Cape Province which enclose them. It is generally alleged that the white dunes were formed over very old streams of fresh water which leached out the red iron-oxides.

If you stoke your fingers though the sand, it will produce a sound similar to snoring or the grunting of a pig, and if you scoop up a handful of sand, it will produce a loud booming noise. Walking through the sand will produce a spine chilling roar. This same effect is produced when sliding down a dune.

A strong dry night wind produces a creepy moaning. The sound is loudest on the southern face of the dunes. On the other hand, very cold weather or rain mutes the sound. According to locals, the roars are loudest throughout months that have an "r" in it (mainly during dry Decembers and Januaries). The precise reason of the sounds made by the dunes is not completely understood.

As a souvenir, a sample of the extraordinary roaring sands can be placed in fruit conserving jars, attached lid to lid with a finger sized hole, having been cut through the center of them resembling something similar to an egg timepiece. If the jars are overturned, the sand will run throughout the hole and make its roaring noise. On the other hand, if the jars are not strongly sealed before parting the dry atmosphere of this district, the sand will absorb moisture from the air, and will be muted.


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