It’s natural to think of sound as an exclusively auditory experience. But if you were to see a sound wave, what would it look like? Science photographer Linden Gledhill decided to find out using water and neon lights. And the result is some psychedelic synesthesia.

The setup behind Gledhill’s marvelous soundscapes is simple. A reservoir of water sits atop a speaker, separated by a thin membrane. The speaker is driven by an amp, attached to a computer that runs sine wave-generating software. As sound waves pass out of the speaker, Gledhill photographs them from above, peering down at the surface of the water of the water through a ring of LED lights.


Gledhill is by no means the first artist to explore cymatics, the visualization of sound—for another recent example, check out the artwork that accompanied Björk’s album Biophilia—but his work is damn beautiful, and we hope he keeps it up.

Images via Linden Gledhill. Check out more of his work on Flickr