Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Echolocation and Ben Underwood

Echolocation is a way that some animals see. For example an animal will create sound waves. These sound waves reflect off an objects and an echo will come back to the animal. The animal now knows the location of the object, the size of the object and the destination or how far away the object is.

The animals that use echolocation are whales, dolphins and bats.  Whales usually swim down deep to the dark blue sea, so it is really dark! Using echolocation helps them a lot. That strange sound that whales make, thats the sound that rebounds off objects and comes back to them.

Bats sleep during the daytime and come out at night. So it is not exactly easy to see. They come out to hunt for prey. Bats us chirping sounds that reflect off other objects and come back to them. They have big ears to help them pick up the echo from sounds. As they get closer to their prey they chirp faster.

Ben Underwood was a unique kid who learnt the amazing skill of echolocation also known as bio sonar (Sound Navigation And Ranging). He was born on the 26th of January 1992. When Ben was born he was healthy, but began getting eye cancer at the age of 2.  He became blind at the age of 3, so he had to wear prosthetic eyes. He began make a clicking sound. This helped him develop the fantastic skill of echolocation.

Incredibly, Ben was always aware of danger. If Ben was playing on the road and a car was coming, he would be able to hear it before it even got on the block. Ben was never treated different. His family and friends alway treated him the same and acted like he was normal. Sadly he died in 2008 at the age of 16.

Echolocation can be very helpful. It is also a really unique way of seeing.

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