The Bloop: The Loudest Underwater Sound Ever Recorded—Unexplained

Yithian

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The Loudest Underwater Sound Ever Recorded Has No Scientific Explanation

Oct 17, 2017—
Video by Cara Cusumano

In 1997, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discovered an unusual, ultra-low-frequency sound emanating from a point off the southern coast of Chile. It was the loudest unidentified underwater sound ever recorded, detected by hydrophones 5,000 miles apart. It lasted for one minute and was never heard again.

The Bloop, a mesmerizing short documentary by Cara Cusumano, investigates this unknown phenomenon with Dr. Christopher Fox, Chief Scientist of the Acoustic Monitoring Project of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab. “I took it to the very classified innards of the United States Navy intelligence,” says Dr. Fox in the film. “It wasn’t theirs. It’s captivating because we don’t know what it was. I am glad there are still mysteries on earth and in the universe.”

Author: Emily Buder

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/543105/the-bloop-loudest-sound-ever-recorded-cara-cusumano/

 

EnolaGaia

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There was some discussion of the Bloop in the Sea Serpents & Monsters thread a year ago:

http://forum.forteantimes.com/index.php?threads/sea-serpents-monsters.52363/

The prevailing explanation plays on the fact the sonic signature of the Bloop is remarkably similar to sonic signatures of known large-scale ice / glacier calving events. The usual line is that the Bloop was generated by an ice event in Antarctic waters and propagated along the deep layers of cold Antarctic water extending to the point of detection off the west coast of Chile.

The ice event theory didn't get much traction at the time the Bloop was first reported (1997 and onward). However, subsequent research and monitoring in the following decade recorded audio data demonstrating the Bloop's similarity to such phenomena.

Another thing to note is that the estimated / apparent location of the Bloop (triangulated from the widely dispersed sensors that picked it up) correlated with the area where 3 geo-crustal plates (Antarctic, Nazca, and Pacific) meet. Seismic forces at such a 3-way plate intersection would certainly have the energy to generate a sound that loud at that low a frequency.

The one explanation that doesn't seem to be realistic is that the Bloop was generated by some organism. Anything big enough to emit the Bloop as tummy thunder or a fart would have to be so large and massive a blue whale would look like a minnow by comparison.
 

michael59

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So, what is it?

All this time, equipment, manpower, money and we're still left guessing?
 

EnolaGaia

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So, what is it?
All this time, equipment, manpower, money and we're still left guessing?
One-time events like this often leave us in this sort of situation. Without recurrence of the anomalous phenomenon, there's little chance of learning more about its characteristics or gathering clues as to its cause.

As Yithian mentioned, it's not like there's been any money or effort invested in exploring the Bloop itself.

The research I mentioned earlier (that provided data showing the Bloop to indeed correlate with ice event noises) was 'normal' polar region research activity.
 

michael59

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One-time events like this often leave us in this sort of situation. Without recurrence of the anomalous phenomenon, there's little chance of learning more about its characteristics or gathering clues as to its cause.

As Yithian mentioned, it's not like there's been any money or effort invested in exploring the Bloop itself.

The research I mentioned earlier (that provided data showing the Bloop to indeed correlate with ice event noises) was 'normal' polar region research activity.
Thanks.

So, I guess we file this away with the "WOW" signal and just wait for another chance to hear it.
 
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