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Many animals make music: grasshoppers, birds, whales, and gibbons all sing or at least seem to be singing. They sing to communicate with each other. Their songs have different meanings, depending on the order of the notes or tones. Some sing to stake a claim to their territory, while others sing to attract a mate.

You can make music too. Only instead of animal music, you can use a plant to make some cool sounds. Try this.

What You Need

  1. a coconut

What You Do

  1. Cut a coconut in half. Drain the milk and clean out the inside.
  2. Tapping the halves against the floor sounds like a horse galloping.
  3. If you place a sheet of paper between the halves and rub the halves together, it sounds like someone is walking through snow.

What's Happening?

The hollow shape of the coconut halves lets air bounce around inside them. The stiffness of the coconut fibers makes the force of the tapping or rubbing get into the air inside. The energy goes from you into the coconut and then into the air. How many different types of sounds can you make with your coconuts? Experimenting turns the making of music into a science.

Bill Nye