Gibbons just love helium gas

Scientists from the Primate Research Institute at Japan’s Kyoto University reported that they had given helium gas to apes (gibbons), which, predictably, made their voices high-pitched.

However, it was not a fraternity prank or lab assistant’s initiation, but a way for the scientists to determine whether the famously sonorous gibbons could yell just as loudly at a higher-than-natural pitch.

The gibbons succeeded, showing a rare talent similar to that of the world’s greatest human sopranos, who maintain their booming amplitude by altering the shape of their vocal tract, including their mouth and tongue.


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