Calls From The Deep
It is almost certain that unseen creatures still lurk in the deep and dark oceans, creatures which are strange and fascinating. In the previously published article Tuning in to a deep sea monster posted at CNN, Marine Biologist Phil Lobel states that the strange unidentified sound picked up by undersea microphones in 1997, nicknamed “The Bloop” by researchers, is most likely to be biological in origin.
The unexplainable sound was detected by NOAA hydrophones several times during the summer of 1997, originating off the South American southwest coast at about 50° S 100° W (a remote point in the south Pacific Ocean west of the southern tip of South America). Each time that it was captured the ultra-low frequency sound rose rapidly in frequency over about one minute, and had sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors from over 3,000 miles away.
Listen to “The Bloop” here Coordinates: 50° 0′ 0″ S, 100° 0′ 0″ W
The sound shares many characteristics with those emanated from biological creatures, in fact it fits those parameters so closely that a large number of researchers are convinced that its origin is animal. But in order for an aquatic animal to emit a sound that can travel over 3,000 miles through Earth’s noisy oceans, scientists say that it would need an incredibly large noise-making apparatus, one much bigger than that of the blue whale, which have been recorded as the loudest animal in the world.
Theories abound as to the source of the Bloop. If it is the vocalization of a living organism, it is one which makes its home in the dark, cold depths of the ocean. Some have suggested that giant squids could be responsible for the sound, but that is unlikely considering that no known species of cephalopod have the gas-filled sac necessary to reach such great volumes. Indeed science has not recorded any animals– living or extinct– with nearly enough size to house the organs needed to produce the level of output demonstrated by the Bloop… so unless this mystery creature uses some unknown mechanism to generate sound, it is presumed to be an incredibly massive organism.
Upsweep, Julia, Slow Down, & Train
The Bloop is not the only mysterious sound heard in the ocean. In May 1997, hydrophones picked up the “Slowdown” sound. Over the course of about 7 minutes, it slowly dropped in pitch, rather like the sound of an aeroplane flying past. Its origin has been only loosely pinned down: it seems to have originated from somewhere off the west coast of South America, and could be heard from 2000 kilometres away.
Listen to “Slowdown” here Coordinate: 15° 0′ 0″ S, 115° 0′ 0″ W
The equatorial autonomous hydrophone arrays have also recorded a “long train of narrow-band upsweeping sounds of several seconds duration each.” They were heard across the entire Pacific Ocean. Although the sounds are said to be seasonal, they have been diminishing since 1991. Named “Upsweep”, this sound still remains unexplained.
Listen to “Upsweep” here Coordinates: 54° 0′ 0″ S, 140° 0′ 0″ W
On March 1, 1999, NOAA microphones tune in on a strange moan-like sound. Lasting about fifteen seconds, the sound originated from the equatorial Pacific Ocean. They named it “Julia”, its source has remained unknown.
Listen to the “Julia” sound here Coordinates: 15° 0′ 0″ S, 98° 0′ 0″ W
The same year as the Slow Down recording, once again the equatorial microphones picked up an anomalous sound. on March 5, 1997 on the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array, the recording of a rising strange sound was captured. Known as the “Train“, the sound has not been heard since.
Listen to “Train” here
July 7, 1997 another strange sound was heard in the Pacific Ocean. Although just a bit north from the equatorial recordings, this sound is just as mysterious. Lasting for about one minute the strange recording was dubbed the “Whistle”.
Listen to “Whistle” here Coordinates: 8° 0′ 0″ N, 110° 0′ 0″ W
We’ve yet to identify the sources of these mysterious sounds undulating from the depths of the Pacific. Of course, that doesn’t mean that these sounds are from some Kraken-like creature. Some explanations of the sounds being something geological are plausible, however, the NOAA admits that these sounds are unlike anything they’ve ever recorded. No volcanic, seismic or known animal sound has ever matched the powerful groans that were heard in a radius of five thousand kilometers.
An unknown animal just may have uttered these sounds while lingering at an unusually shallow depth. Unless researchers encounter the sound again, there is little chance that we’ll have any explanation more concrete than scientific speculation. But given their unusual properties and strong indications of a large biological origin, it makes for a compelling mystery.
Just remember that the Ocean makes up 70% of this planet and yet 95% of it remains unexplored.
Source(s): © Alan Bellows 23 April 2006 damninteresting.com/the-call-of-the-bloop, newscientist.com/article/mg20327246.500-13-more-things-the-bloop.html, ghosttheory.com/2012/02/28/strange-recordings-from-the-deep
Top Photo: South Pacific Ocean, 11 March 2009. Photo copyright Guo Chuan
Second Photo: The ROV Little Hercules hovers over the seafloor, shedding light on previously unseen terrain. Cutting edge technology like Little Hercules facilitates exploration and research in the deep-sea. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010 oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/10index/logs/july12/media/rov_seafloor.html
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Sydney C. Squidney