Why are chirping crickets so difficult to locate?

My hearing is fine, but when they are chirping the damn things often sound like they’re coming from a location completely different than where they actually are. How do they do this? Is it deliberate?

They are a sign of Luck, leave them be.

Unless one is in your apartment chirping its freaking head off at 3am and it’s keeping you awake. That’s when you find the little bastard and the hole he’s hiding in and unload half a can of insecticide into it.

I let him be. I let him be dead.

They have a great ability to shut up when you get close. Either you’re hearing a different one when it “moved”, or it shut up and jumped away, and then chirped again. You can imagine the fate of a species with no fighting ability that broadcasted its position even when a possible predator got within five feet.

It’s not just crickets. The human ear has a very bad sense of direction in general, and often the brain uses visual cues to add a sense of “direction” to a sound detected by the ear. This is, in fact, the essence of ventriloquism.

So imagine how successful a cricket ventriloquist would be.

“I’m Edgar Buggen, and this is Charlie McSqueaky.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Apparently your ears/brain don’t track pure sine waves very well… but they do a good job locating scratchy impulse-type noise. Jangle a set of keys around with your eyes closed and you can “hear” the location pretty accurately. But just try and find a chirping smoke alarm with a nearly-dead battery when it’s buried in a messy workshop!