When the twin Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977, they carried with them two Golden Records encoded with the sounds of Earth. As the spacecraft flew past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and out to the edge of interstellar space, the Golden Records were intended to serve as a greeting to any extraterrestrials the spacecraft might encounter along the way—like a “bottle in the cosmic ocean,” as the late astronomer Carl Sagan put it. Among the sounds selected to represent all of humanity were recordings of rain, a mother and child, stone tools, a heartbeat, and more.
Even if you’re not an alien with a golden record player, you can listen to these emotional and thought-provoking sounds, too. The recordings have been online for years now as clunky individual sound clips. But now, for the first time they’re actually easy to listen to—NASA just uploaded them to SoundCloud. So instead of clicking back and forth to hear the different tracks on NASA’s clunky audio player, you can just zen out and listen to a continuous stream of clips. Oh, the humanity.