The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America vol:116 issue:6 pages:3328-35
It is known that a handclap in front of the stairs of the great pyramid of Chichen Itza produces a chirp echo which sounds more or less like the sound of a Quetzal bird. The present work describes precise diffraction simulations and attempts to answer the critical question what physical effects cause the formation of the chirp echo. Comparison is made with experimental results obtained from David Lubman. Numerical simulations show that the echo shows a strong dependence on the kind of incident sound. Simulations are performed for a (delta function like) pulse and also for a real handclap. The effect of reflections on the ground in front of the pyramid is also discussed. The present work also explains why an observer seated on the lowest step of the pyramid hears the sound of raindrops falling in a water filled bucket instead of footstep sounds when people, situated higher up the pyramid, climb the stairs.