Doug James and Changxi Zheng, researchers at Cornell University, have developed a way to simulate the sounds of flowing or dripping water, which in real life are produced by tiny air bubbles that compress and expand due to surface tension, creating sound waves in the water.
So by using the geometry of a 3D scene, the Harmonic Fluids algorithm they developed can calculate where the air bubbles would have been created in real life and how they would have moved, which allows realistic accompanying sounds to be generated.
Now don't get me wrong, that's neat as hell, I just wish they would have made their research a little more useful in the real world. Like, I dunno, developing an algorithm to mimic the mating calls of prehistoric dinosaurs. Am I right? If we're not gonna cure cancer I should at least get laid.