Well actually it doesn’t, it just answers back. It has been said that the sound of a duck’s quack doesn’t echo…it does. …try it yourself. But…and this is very important; before you do make sure there is no-one around. Not because they will affect the acoustics; more like the fact that being seen standing there quacking is a sure fire way to get you a first class ticket to a mental institution.
So what is an echo ? I know scientifically it is sound reflecting off a hard surface but what are they for, what use are they to the general populace apart from giving us something to do in order to disturb the perfect silence you get for instance in mountain ranges (or is that yodelling ?) ?
Certain animals I know use them for both locational position or to judge the size of objects they are passing near or hunting and indeed blind humans use the reflected sounds from canes to judge where they are in relation to other objects.
But I am neither a hungry animal nor a blind human, so what about me.
Echoes for me are just a bit of fun…something that is completely meaningless. There is however still some primordial force that drives me to scream out at the top of my voice at every opportunity where an echo could present itself – guess it brings out the child in me that still exists.
As a child you can shout as much as you want to try for an echo and nobody cares, in fact you are often encouraged but at some point you reach an age where society judges you too old to have mindless fun.
So before I try to get my next ‘quack’ back in the form of an echo, the first thing I must remember is my own advice in that I look around, checking I’m alone, to ensure the ambulance isn’t going to be on its way to pick me up and escort me to hospital where a completely different type of quack will be waiting.