The Lost Art of Loud Whistling Could Save Your Life

Whistling with your fingers is the body’s built-in alarm system.

Whether lost in the wilderness or stranded in the city, the sound waves of this SOS call travel much farther than a scream.

Loud finger whistling is a basic survival skill for primitive people around the world.

Hunters without telephones communicate in full sentences through dense jungles and across valleys of craggy mountains.

In fact, whistling languages exist in all four corners of the world.

The loud whistle is the perfect way to call attention and communicate your location across long distances.

With far less energy than screaming, a loud whistle can travel up to 5 miles, while maintaining much of its original integrity. What makes this raw sound so special?

The Frequency of a Whistle

Humans perceive sounds in the band between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (green).Typical human speech exists between 100-250 Hz. No matter how loud you think you can scream, the sound waves dissipate and become inaudible over a relatively short distance.

The frequency of loud whistle exists above natural background noise, yet won’t stir up the attention of predators and prey.

The frequency of the whistling sound waves exist in the range of 1000 – 4000 Hz, allowing the whistler to transmit messages to a focused, faraway location location.

How to do it:

There are several ways to  loud whistling sounds with your fingers, but the simplest method uses just the thumb and one finger.

  1. Make a circle with your thumb and a finger. You can use any finger that’s comfortable.
  2. Slightly wet your lips and curl them over your teeth.
  3. Place your ringed fingers into your mouth, under your tongue, bending the tip of your tongue back toward your throat.
  4. Wrap your lips down around your fingers to create an airtight seal around the outside of your mouth.
  5. Blow a steady stream of air over your curled lips, maintaining proper seal around the corners of the mouth,, and only letting air escape through the middle.
  6. Remember to press your finger tips pressed together.

At first, attempts at loud whistling may produce a more subtle sound than the one you’re looking for, similar to the sounds produced by blowing over the mouth of a beer bottle.

Play around with the seal and air pressure. After some practice you’ll begin to find the magic zone and make sound that can be heard for miles.

Everyone is different, and the art of loud whistling might take you a few days of trial and error to learn.

The trick is to understand the basics, start with light pressure and air flow, and keep practicing.





5 responses to “The Lost Art of Loud Whistling Could Save Your Life”

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  4. Stefan Avatar

    Thankyou – love this.. A year ago I tried a ‘Lament for Public Whistling’

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