Written by Staff Writer
12 Jun, 2016 | 5:13 pm
Born blind, Juan Pablo Culasso has never seen a bird. But through his gifted sense of hearing, he can identify more than 3,000 different bird sounds and differentiate more than 720 species.
Uruguay’s Juan Pablo Culasso realized his ability to hear and differentiate sounds when he was a boy. When his father used to toss stones in the river, he was able to tell him the exact note the stone made when it hit the water. This ability is rare that only one in every 10,000 people have it.
Culasso said his dad later read to him about birds from an encyclopedia that came with an audio cassette of their calls.
Culasso’s passion now is to record and learn from the sounds of nature. He recently completed a two-month journey to Antarctica, where he recorded sounds from the Earth’s coldest, wildest and most mysterious continent.
“I keep adding sounds to my list,” he said. “In Antarctica, I recorded sea lions, seals and a melting iceberg.”
Although Culasso can distinguish light, allowing him to differentiate night from day, he cannot register shapes, forms, and even less so the colors of birds. His ears have always been his way to connect more profoundly with the world.
His ability to recognize and record nature’s sounds has landed him jobs working for documentary soundtracks. Culasso currently lives in his native Montevideo after more than a decade in Brazil, where he studied bioacoustics and nature sounds.
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