Humans don’t really rely on echo location like bats do, but we are capable of using it to a certain extent. While bats have specific body parts designed for echolocating, humans just use their mouths and ears. Blind people can learn to use echolocation to sense their surroundings; they tap their cane or they can make clicking sounds and listen for the echos. It seems likely that most people can teach themselves to echolocate, although it’s not very common or documented at this time.
This question has been asked before on GreenAnswers. You can view the question and the answer here: http://greenanswers.com/q/6870/sustainability-development/humans-population/can-humans-use-echolocation
Humans, with their cleverness and ingenuity have designed technology which mimics the natural endowments of other species. In the case of echo location, man has created sonar, a powerful tracking and mapping system utilized aboard sea-faring vessels.
Sonar, an acronym for SOund Navigation and Ranging, was first invented by Lewis Nixon as a way to detect icebergs.
To a certain degree, our inner ear does it automatically — that’s how we tell when somebody or something is in a certain place without looking, oftentimes.
I watched a television episode that featured someone who could efficiently use what researchers termed as human echolocation. The individual had been born blind, and he learned to identify objects and navigate through the world, even able to ride his bike normally, by using clicking sounds. Though I usually don’t get my information in the television format, this show was quite interesting. It’s pretty amazing how the human body can compensate its losses through other functions.
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