And the world’s most beautiful sound belongs to… a frog in Malaysia!

A frog singing in a pond is not exactly music to the ears, but judges of a competition in search of the most beautiful sound in the world will disagree.

They have chosen a two-minute recording from a Malaysian swamp at dusk to be "The Most Beautiful Sound in the World", an online competition hosted by Beautiful Now, a website to celebrate life's beauty.

Titled "Dusk by the Frog Pond", the clip was recorded at Kubah National Park in Sarawak.

The entry was among hundreds heard by judges, including American musician Bernie Krause, before it was shortlisted to be among the last dozen.

The judges could have settled for many other sound clips, including cats purring, babies gurgling and giggling, and sounds of running water and surf washing over a beach.

But their choice was "a sound of a swamp with a frog singing," Julian Treasure, one of the contest's judges and chairman of the British consultancy Sound Agency, told Canada's CBC Radio.

The frog's croaking, as he put it, is "like a symphony of life just expressing itself".

"The most amazing, rich recording of just life — teeming life. And listening to it you really get the sense of nature at its fullest, and most abundant and most exciting," he added.

To hear the 12 finalists, go to the BeautifulNow website. - January 21, 2014.