A tiger's prey FEELS the roar and is - literally - scared stiff... Pedants, beware. Technically this should probably go down as a 'sound' but when you actually hear the roar of tigers in India, you realise it's so much more than a noise. Semantics aside, you might think roaring would be counter-productive for a tiger using stealth to approach its intended lunch, but scientists (and unfortunate victims) have long known that there is something about the sound that induces a momentary paralysis, freezing the target in its tracks.
A recent scientific study discovered why - alongside the ear-splitting and nerve-jangling roar itself, the tiger emits an extremely low frequency growl, and it's this combination that means the prey really feels the sound and is, quite literally, scared stiff.
From the safety of your own elephant
So, should something so blood-curdling really make it into our 80 Senses list of things we love? We think so, because the roar will no doubt be experienced from the safety of a 4x4 vehicle or - even more romantically - atop an elephant, and it is one of the most memorable things you will ever hear. Even better, but increasingly rare (because of poaching and some national park management that leaves a lot to be desired) is actually seeing one of these magnificent beasts in the wild, but we'd like to think we know the very best parks and spotters to maximise your chances.
Part of our new series 'Around the World in 80 Senses', celebrating our favourite things from our extensive travels. As with any self-respecting list, there's absolutely no scientific basis to the choices we've made. It's all shamelessly subjective, and we'll be listing this year's 80 Senses (in no particular order) between now and Christmas, so keep an eye out for new entries here on the blog and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.