For most modern New Yorkers, it’s hard to imagine the city being anything more than a crowded, noisy, concrete jungle. However, with the website Unsung.NYC, users can now explore the natural sounds of Manhattan, present during the 1600s before European settlers arrived. As the Times reports, “Calling Thunder” lets listeners hear all the chirps, croaks, and laps of waves, all of which coincide with images from four main points in Manhattan—the Collect Pond Park, the High Line, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Inwood Hill Park.
It’s hard to imagine New York as anything but a dense landscape of glassy towers, apartment buildings and millions of bodies moving throughout the streets. But once upon a time, the city wasn’t much more than forests, creeks and wildlife. The Welikia Project, formerly known as the Mannahatta Project, has gotten a powerful update that now lets you explore the city’s historic ecology using a satellite map that imagines how Manhattan might have looked back in 1609—and all the years between then and now.