On Earth Day, take a moment to listen to the world around you and participate in scientific research by helping to map the sounds of the planet.
Purdue University ecologist Bryan Pijanowski is asking people all over the world to record audio of natural sounds on April 22 as part of Global Soundscapes Day, according to Purdue News.
Pijanowski and his team created mobile phone applications designed to capture soundscapes and store them in a database for research, as well as preserving natural sounds for future generations to come. The project is designed to capture up to 1 million sound recordings from all over the planet.
People are also encouraged to answer a few questions about how the different sounds make them feel for potential use in making public spaces more relaxing.
"We hope to use these collected soundscapes from Earth Day 2014 to change the sound of public spaces, hospitals and other venues, replacing them with sounds that make us feel good, sounds that are peaceful and restful," Pijanowski told Purdue News.
He often travels the world to study soundscapes and their relationship with ecosystem health, according to Wired, but this new project will help scientists gather much more data without having to travel to each place.
"We should get a sense of whether and how we’re making this a noisier planet, which I think we’re doing," Pijanowski told Wired. "And it should increase awareness of sounds. Hopefully it will make people stop and listen."
To help out scientists, and for an excuse to relax and take it all in for a moment, download the free Soundscape Recorder application at the Apple iTunes store or Google Play, and upload your recordings here.