Snap, Crackle, Pop: Melting Glaciers Sound Like Rice Krispies

Screen capture. Zaria Forman | Whale Bay, Antarctica, No. 4, 2016 | Pastel on paper | Vimeo

Along with her large-scale drawings, artist Zaria Forman has recorded the eerie song of a warming planet.
You may have seen the incredible landscapes created by Brooklyn artist Zaria Forman. Forman is a magician with soft pastels, transforming pigment and paper into epic scenes of nature and remote frigid icescapes so realistic one gets a shiver just looking. The photo above is one of them; you can see a time-lapse of its creation below.

But maybe even more immediate than her arresting landscapes is this recording that I just stumbled upon at Earther. Brain Kahn explains that the recording is from the Errera Channel, "a skinny stretch of water between Rongé Island and the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula."

“The crackle is the sound of ancient air meeting new,” Forman said in an artist statement. “It’s the sound of glacial ice melting, and the ancient air bubbles trapped inside of it breaking free.” The melodically eerie cooing of gentoo penguins in the background is the icing on the cake, so to speak.

With a play on words, Forman likens the sound to "ice crispies." Meanwhile, in the early 1930s, a radio ad for Kellogg's Rice Krispies implored consumers to, "Listen to the fairy song of health, the merry chorus sung by Kellogg's Rice Krispies as they merrily snap, crackle and pop ... If you've never heard food talking, now is your chance." It makes for a pretty ironic comparison: If you've never heard glaciers talking, now is your chance!

As described on Forman's beautiful website, the inspiration for her work "began in early childhood when she traveled with her family throughout several of the world's most remote landscapes, which were the subject of her mother's fine art photography." But they're more than just pretty pictures; they strive to highlight the urgency of climate change by "connecting people to the beauty of remote landscapes," Forman says.

(And for an entirely different spin on snap, crackle, and pop... behold the 1964 Rolling Stones ad for Rice Krispies.)