MEOW
December 13, 2016 1:56 PM   Subscribe

One of Joe Howard's students asked him a question and he couldn't stop thinking about it. After some research, he provided an answer in this charming video: How loud would it be if all of the cats in the world meowed at the same time? (h/t Miss Cellania) posted by Johnny Wallflower (31 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
From the 10 reasons cats meow -

Yep, Nthing the "because they're getting older." something Zach did in his senior years: sometimes I'd shoo him out of a room, or chide him for doing something he wasn't supposed to. When I did, he'd run into the next room, and then start up a very loud and repetitive call, almost like a chant: "Murrrrr-OW! Murrrrr-OW! Murrrrr-OW! Murrrrr-OW! Murrrrr-OW! Murrrrr-OW!...." and he'd keep it up until I got sick of it, and I'd holler back at him to stop. And then invariably there would be a pause, and then one last sulky little ".....mrrow...." and then silence.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:07 PM on December 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


But you know what's really, really loud?

Two neighborhood cats in heat at 3am.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:08 PM on December 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


A thousand cats meowing at once 300 feet away would be no louder than a whisper? That doesn't seem right to me somehow.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:26 PM on December 13, 2016


6 million cats in one area? This of course makes me think of the response: consider a point cat...
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:42 PM on December 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


That list left out "There's a ghost in the corner", signified by staring at a corner of the room and meowing loudly.
posted by happyroach at 2:43 PM on December 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


That is some cat, EC; he radiates good natured attitude.
posted by jamjam at 2:49 PM on December 13, 2016


11) I pooped.
posted by amarynth at 2:59 PM on December 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


12) My breakfast is 5 minutes late which, aside from that one time at the vet when I was a kitten, is the worst thing that has ever happened to me
posted by aubilenon at 3:28 PM on December 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


13) To express the sentiment "Hey, I am a cat."
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:32 PM on December 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


Someone (heck, it may have been on MetaFilter) suggested once that most cat meows pretty much boil down to a) I'm hungry, b) hey, there you are, and c) I'm here, where are you?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:38 PM on December 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


If half of the stars in the universe were all visible at one time, how bright would it be?

Go outside tonight and look. Not very bright.
posted by Bruce H. at 3:55 PM on December 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


The thing I thought he was going to address was how densely you can pack those cats together so as to minimize the attenuation for the further away cats. like if you had a spherical structure with the listener at its exact center, and the cats all glued to the inside surface of the sphere, that would maybe be optimal, but how big a radius would that sphere need to have?
posted by juv3nal at 4:46 PM on December 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


Dang, cats are too diffuse. If you build a sphere of cats with the listener at the origin and each cat having a 6" square opening, the radius is still 3455 feet. 600 million cats almost 3/4 mile away will still not be that loud. [area of sphere = 4 * pi * r^2 ]

If you close the backs of the cat cells that form the sphere with something hard (and put mesh over the fronts so the cats above horizontal don't fall out and the rest don't climb out), all of that sound should be somewhat louder.

It's getting all the cats to the sphere & getting them re-distributed after the experiment that'll be the fun part, though. xkcd considered this for "everyone on earth jump simultaneously" with everyone packed into Rhode Island. Not a pretty result.

The Burj Khalifa is 2,722 ft tall. This cat-sphere will be 6910 feet tall. Probably have to use carbon fiber for the tensile strength to make it work.

On preview: "great" minds think alike juv3nal!
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 4:54 PM on December 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think this howling cat sphere is maybe the best reimagining of Cerebro ever.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:02 PM on December 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


That one part near the end of Final Fantasy 10 would of been really interesting if were cats instead of people.
posted by littlesq at 5:03 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: howling cat sphere
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:05 PM on December 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


But soft! What meowing through yonder Dyson Sphere doth break? It is glued-down cats and I am the sun!
posted by comealongpole at 5:06 PM on December 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


Getting all the cats in one spot sounds like a precursor to the Big Bang.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:14 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


14) That is the wrong flavor of cat food! *leaves in a tiff*

15) THAT OTHER CAT ATE MY CAT FOOD!!
posted by BlueHorse at 5:48 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


15) THAT OTHER CAT ATE MY CAT FOOD!!

fuckin tubbs
posted by jason_steakums at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Go outside tonight and look.

Well, not tonight. The moon is full tonight. Go out at night in two weeks and look.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:00 PM on December 13, 2016


What you need to do is arrange the cats into equivalence classes* based on their meow's pitch. Then, create duct-like waveguides that end at the listener. Position each cat along its equivalence class's waveguide an integer number of wavelengths away from the listener to avoid destructive interference.

*The more precisely you can match the frequencies of the cats in the waveguide, the better. To do this, divide each cat's meow frequency by 2 repeatedly until you get a number between 1 and 2. Partition the interval between 1 and 2 into a number of bins equal to the number of ducts you have space for. Cats with meow frequencies that end up in the same bin are allocated to the same waveguide. Note that if transmission losses along waveguides are low enough some cats may be destroyed by the meow pulse.
posted by Jpfed at 9:01 PM on December 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


reddit.com/r/theydidthemath
posted by zardoz at 9:31 PM on December 13, 2016


I think that the video is bean-plating. If I'm in a room with a cat and the cat's meow is ~45db and then every cat in the world meows at the same time, isn't it going to be pretty close to 45db for me? I definitely think that they could have spent more time on Cat Thunderdome. My cat meowing is not as frightening as the idea of being encircled by millions of those furry jerks meowing "who run catnip town?" in unison.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:50 AM on December 14, 2016


fuckin tubbs

Aaaaand the song is in my head now.
posted by teponaztli at 12:57 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Imagine a perfectly spherical cat, meowing n-dimensionally, and you've got your answer.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:29 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


> ...create duct-like waveguides that end at the listener.

Are you taking into account the damping and diffusion caused by cat fur? Because I'm thinking a transmission line full of cats is going to more resemble an infinite baffle, especially if you concentrate the longhairs near the far end.
posted by ardgedee at 5:41 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I definitely think that they could have spent more time on Cat Thunderdome.

Oh, can't we just wander back and forth meowing at the door to Cat Thunderdome, and when someone finally hears us and opens it, refuse to go beyond it?
posted by JHarris at 6:03 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


What proportion of cats are Siamese?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:16 AM on December 14, 2016




What if the cats had Weirding Modules?
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 7:22 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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