The 2mm water boatman insect is the loudest creature on Earth in relation to its size, according to scientists in Scotland and France.

In addition, the feat is achieved through the frantic rubbing of its, ahem, penis.

The insect can reach a volume of up to 99.2 decibels by agitating its member against its abdomen, effectively singing for a mate in a bizarre courtship ritual. And the end result is the equivalent of listening to a loud orchestra while sitting in the front row. Admittedly, though, they tend to play instruments, rather than play with their instruments, so to speak.

For a study published in journal PLoS One, boffins adopted small underwater microphones in order to record the insects. And they discovered that, on average, the Micronecta scholtzi attained a volume of 78.9 decibels, similar in noise level as a passing train. Both elephants and blue whales emit louder sounds, 117 dB and 188 dB respectively, but each of them a clearly far larger than the water boatman.

The reason humans aren't deafened by the noise created by the tiny insect's todger, however, is that around 99 per cent of the volume is lost while passing through the water to air.

And our mums said that it was sight that's affected by such things.

Pic: Smilylibrarian