Underwater Sounds?

By Rick – (Washington State)

What are the clicking sounds heard underwater while snorkeling in Hawaii? Also heard them in the Florida Keys.

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Galen and Nicole – Jun 21, 2010 – Clicking Sounds When Snorkeling

Hi Rick. You are probably hearing snapping shrimp. These little guys use a technique of snapping their claws shut that creates a cavitation bubble that travels so fast that it makes a very loud noise. They actually use this like a shot to stun and kill small fish, as well as for communication.

Dolphins also make a clicking noise, but I am pretty sure you would recognize that.

Tim – Jul 9, 2010 – Underwater Sounds

I have also heard that the clicking was from shrimp. We heard them a lot while doing SNUBA in Wailea, Maui. Could not confirm it because we’ve never seen a shrimp while snorkeling. We did find out how sound truly does travel better underwater. When we started down it sounded like a boat was about to drive over us. I popped my head back up and could not see a boat anywhere.

We also recently went to Maui at the end of whale season. We had read you can hear them. It’s very true and an incredibly amazing and moving experience. It brought tears to my wife’s eyes.

Anonymous – Aug 31, 2016 – Scraping Sound From Parrotfish

It is also possibly the sounds of parrotfish grazing the rocks and corals. If you watch them eat and listen carefully you will notice that you can actually hear it scraping its teeth on the surfaces.

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