The Resonant Frequency of Googly Eyes

The party starts jumping at 433 Hz, if you’re a cheap plastic eyeball.

Sound is one of the great mysteries. It surrounds us all the time, yet it is invisible and has no smell. Except for the most booming of subwoofers, we rarely feel its vibrations on our skin.

In fact, we only notice its physicality when it is revealed—such as when sound sends another object skittering by hitting its resonant frequency.

Every object has a resonant frequency, a pitch that makes it jitter up and down and echo. Resonant frequencies aren’t limited to acoustics, either: Objects can have mechanical or electromagnetic resonance, too. Where there are waves, there is resonance.

Which is one reason I like this video so much.

Googly eyes, it turns out, can have resonance too. In the video below, someone locates that resonance at around 433 Hz. The eyes go crazy. A frequency of 433 Hz is a flat A-natural in the middle of the piano. It’s also very near the “A” used by older composers like Mozart and Verdi, who turned their A to 432 Hz.

One thing that interests me, though, is that the resonant googly eyes don’t google. They just dance.

Besides, if they wanted to google, they’d need a keyboard, a computer, and a web connection. And fingers to type. Nyuk nyuk.