Jeff J Mitchell / Staff

Oysters Can Hear And The Noise Is Stressing Them Out!

Have you ever been stressed living in a loud apartment or dorm? Well, you have something in common with oysters, only their dwelling is the ocean. PLoS One revealed new research this past week stating that the shelled creature is becoming increasingly stressed due to ocean noise pollution.

According to the New York Times, when an oyster hears a loud sound, they close their shells. Think of their exteriors like a door! They are able to prevent the harsh frequencies from irritating their existence. Previous to this study, scientists thought the bivalve mollusks would only close their shells if they were “feeling stressed or threatened.”

New Scientist on Twitter

Oysters are all about that bass


Who would have thought that those delicious sea creatures had tiny ears?

Tormey Reimer on Twitter

Low frequency noise pollution makes oysters 'clam up' bc they're sensitive to shaking! Sound pressure, not so much.


The author of the study, Jean-Charles Massbuau noted they “must be able to hear breaking waves and water currents.” These two items are highly important to the creature’s overall biological rhythm. Hearing the sound of the ocean is sort of like us listening for an alarm clock in the morning. It helps us out with our daily routine!

Since there has been an increase of various human activity, the ocean has been a noisy home. Oysters become stressed due to the increased sound and shut their shells. Why is this so important? Well, Jean-Charles said, “To hear the current arriving could prepare them for eating and digesting, possibly as when we hear and smell that somebody is preparing dinner.” Essentially, if they can’t hear, they can’t eat!


Julian Burton on Twitter

@newscientist Suppose that also means they can hear when you order them for lunch.


Oysters aren’t the only sea creatures that are disliking the noise level. Scientists have also found that fish, whales, and cephalopods have had an effect.

Carolyn Beeler on Twitter

My obsession with oysters grows...


So, fans of ocean sports, let’s keep it down. We are making the natural tenant rather unhappy!


Sarah is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp