What if you could see what your cat’s purr looks like? Through the process of cymatics, you can, and the results are mesmerizing. As you might know, cymatics is the study and sound, and vibration made visible, revealing beautiful, mysterious, and intricate geometric patterns. You’ve probably seen the resulting images on social media, but probably not as related to cats.
For example, below, you can see what an ordinary drop of water looks like resonating at 18Hz. It’s magical! There is another elaborate design in sound and energy waves and frequency, and scientists are beginning to find real-world applications for this beautiful phenomenon.
A Cat’s Purr Seen with Cymatics
A Massachusetts educator, mathematician, and acoustical physics research scientist, Casey Attebery, AKA Mr. E-Scholar, creates art through the process of cymatics. Using a cymatic device, we can see the sound of a cat’s purring in a dish of special liquid.
Note: We are not affiliated with Mr. E-Scholar or the sale of any product from his website.
Cymatic devices can be as simple as a drum skin sprinkled with grains, as used by African tribes 1000 years ago. After that, Leonardo Da Vinci noticed that dust on a table created shapes when he vibrated it. In the 18th century, Ernst Chladni experimented by vibrating a violin bow against a metal plate covered with sand. Later, Hans Jenny coined the term “cymatics” in the 1900s, experimenting with liquids and pastes.
These days, more elaborate devices may use software and electronic components, but the concept remains the same.
In this case, Attebery says he found a recording of a cat’s purr. Then, he ran that audio “through a 2.125″ pan half-full of sumac syrup, honey, wood ash and rubbing alcohol.”
Interestingly, he says that size is relevant as it relates to the frequency of wavelengths from a cat’s larynx, the “bioresonance.“
“What’s interesting is that the pan size (2.125″) is about twice the size of a cat’s larynx, which makes for some interesting bioresonance!” he says.
As you can see, the designs are like a pretty Batik or tie-dye design.
In this case, Attebery chose a liquid mixture that mimics the organic properties of blood to reveal how the purring sound would look inside a living body.
As you can see in the video below, a cat’s purr creates an endless array of beautiful, intricate designs in the liquid.
A Cat purring in cymatics by Mr. E-Scholar:
Four Different Cats Purring with Cymatics
In another video, Mr. E-Scholar shows four cat’s purrs using liquid cymatics. As you can see below, each of the four cats’ purrs reveals unique designs, including Fran, Yuri, Tigger, and Effie. In the latter case, the design sometimes seems to show a cartoonish cat face, or maybe that’s just our imagination?
As for the colors, it’s the result of choosing colored LEDs.
On Facebook, he says:
“Have you ever seen cat purr cymatics? Note: this is not what cat purrs look like, but instead, it is what they look like as they oscillate a 2″ dish of a blood-mimicking fluid with these specific colored LEDs reflecting down upon the system.”
Below, you can see an interesting still image of a cat name Fran’s purring sounds. As you can see, it looks almost alive, like a complex cellular structure.
Next, we have the images from a cat name Yuri and it’s soothing to look at, don’t you think?
Similarly, we have what a cat named Tigger’s purr looks like and it’s also very soothing.
Finally, a cat named Effie’s purr seems to show an angry little cartoonish cat in the center? 😆 This cat must be a little bit different.
Again, are we seeing a little whiskered face in the center of this cymatic image? Once you see it you can’t unsee it.
Video via YouTube/ Mr. E-Scholar:
Cats Purring: The Most Soothing of Sounds?
Cats purring is one of the most soothing sounds. Indeed, Betty White once said, “The sound of a cat’s purr is the most soothing thing in the world.”
However, cats make a wide range of vocalizations developed almost exclusively to communicate with humans. So, what would a cat’s chattering, trilling, yowl, hiss, or growling look like?
Video by Cole and Marmalade: